Buying Selling Giving – Week 3

Happy Easter!

This week we conclude our series Buying, Selling, and Giving in God’s Economy by discovering what it means to give in the economy of God. Sure, there are financial implications but we are moving beyond that today. We are diving deeper, looking closer. And we find in Matthew 27 and 28 that giving is much more than a dollars and cents deal. That is a world’s economy view. Remember, in God’s economy giving will be driven by love and people instead of money and things.

The bottom line of Easter is the resurrection of Jesus from the dead. But the story finds its emotional low point 3 days earlier when Jesus is beaten, bloodied, and abused. When he is mocked and made fun of. When he is crucified and dies. “About three in the afternoon Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?” (which means “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”)” Matthew 27:46. Jesus cried out in anguish at this moment because in this moment he took on the sins of the world. God the Father gave God the Son, and God the Son gave his holiness and righteousness for us. Jesus, at this moment, was ripped from the trinity. He lost his relationship with God the Father and God the Holy Spirit. The trinity was broken because Jesus was stained with your sin and mine. Jesus gave his identity as God when he took your place and mine on the cross. Talk about dying to self!

Fortunately when Jesus rose from the grave he was no longer stained by that sin. He was risen and he came up with power over sin and death! And this is the gift God gives us…power over sin in this life and power over eternal death. Instead we can have life in heaven with him! But how do we respond to this gift? When Jesus bought-in we followed his example by buying-in, too. We buy-in by believing Jesus is who he says he is – God’s son, and that he does what he says he will do – forgive our sins. Then when Jesus sold-out we said we have to sell-out, too. Jesus died to himself when he said “not my will God, but yours.” Likewise we are to die to ourselves and love God ahead of everything and everyone in our lives, even ourselves. But how do we respond to Jesus given away? We cannot do what Jesus did; we cannot follow his example. But we can receive the gift he gives. We can believe Jesus is God’s son and the One who saves us from our sin. We can love God first. And we can receive the gift of life.

That is the message of Easter. It is God’s redemptive plan for you laid out and lived out. God is showing you why you are here. He is revealing your purpose in life. You are created with specific intent and your part in his plan depends on you buying-in, selling out, and receiving the gift he has given you.

If you want to do that today, pray like this:

God I do believe, to the best of my ability, that Jesus is your son and that he does have the power to forgive me for my sins. And I know I have sinned. I have messed up and done wrong. I have put my will ahead of yours, I have lived my life my way, but I am ready to live my life your way, to live for you. Not my will, God, but yours! And God I am ready to receive the gift of life, the gift of Jesus who died for me on the cross but who was resurrected 3 days later and gives power over sin and over eternal death! Thank you God for you plan, your purpose for me! I pray that you will help me live this purpose every day from now on. Amen!