Judge, have you ever thought about what you mean to God?"
I directed my question to a friend who had served as county judge for many years and whose wife had recently died. Our conversation had turned to the promises of the Bible and their message of comfort.
"Not long ago," I continued, "a Venezuelan father paid $900,000 to ransom his 13-year-old boy who had been kidnapped. Was he worth it?"
"Sure," my friend assented, "he was worth it to his father."
"Yes," I agreed. "Now, Judge, tell me, has anyone ever paid a ransom for you?"
He nodded. He knew about the sacrifice of Calvary.
"Judge, are you worth it?"
He bowed his head. "No, Sir, I'm afraid I'm not."
"Wait," I urged. "Does God know values? Does the One who made you know your worth? If He says you are worth what He paid for you, would you dispute it? After all, if you are not worth that much, then He cheated Himself. By God's grace, Judge, you are worth the ransom."
Suppose, when that father was looking everywhere for his kidnapped boy, someone had approached him with this offer: "Sir, I hear that you are looking for your boy and will pay $900,000 for his ransom."
"Yes, indeed! Can you help me find him?"
"Well, I think I can get you a boy who will cost you only $1,000. It will save you a lot of money."
Would the father have shown interest? Not at all! He was not looking for a boy. He was looking for his boy.
Why did God pay such an infinite ransom for man? To understand we must recognize God's purpose in creating him. God made man for fellowship with Himself. Concerning Israel of old, God said, "This people have I formed for myself' (Isaiah 43:21). Yes, "the Lord taketh pleasure in his people" (Psalm 149:4).
We were brought into existence because we were needed. God has a place in His infinite heart that only you can fill. He "needs" you for His friend. He longs for your fellowship, your love, your understanding. For this reason He made you. To Him you are precious.
Can God really "need" one individual when He has millions of other friends? Imagine a family with eight children. As they become young adults, seven of them turn out to be upstanding principled men and women. But one is a rebel, breaking the laws of God and man. Do the parents say, "Well, we've done pretty well. Seven out of eight is above average. It's too bad about Harry. But let's be thankful for our seven exemplary children."
In my imagination I see the family gather on Thanksgiving Day. Seven children are sitting around the table in happy union with Father and Mother. But a tear trickles down Mother's cheek. And another, for she is thinking about Harry, rebellious Harry, out in the world somewhere. And as I look into her tear-filled eyes, it dawns on me—the fact that she has seven loyal, loving children only makes the hurt worse as she thinks of Harry. She has a place in her heart that nobody but Harry can fill.
God, too, has a place in His heart that nobody but you can fill. And the love of millions of others that gladdens His heart cannot take the place of your love, your friendship, your fellowship.
The Problem of Sin
What denies God the pleasure of a face-to-face relationship with you and me? Only one thing—sin. Sin separated man from God in Eden, and it prolongs that separation today. "Your iniquities have separated between you and your God" (Isaiah 59:2).
Sin makes the separation between God and those He loves. He hates it, cannot tolerate it, cannot live with it. He must eradicate sin, but how can He do so without destroying those infected with it?
God has a wonderful plan to solve the sin problem, to destroy sin without destroying those He loves, and to save sinners without perpetuating sin. It is an expensive plan. But you are so valuable that Christ would have paid the entire ransom just to save you alone.
This ransom provided by Christ our Creator, Redeemer, and Intercessor makes possible our reunion with God.