Free but not cheap
Gods grace is free to us. His unmerited favor, favor that we do not deserve comes to us without cost. But that doesn’t mean that it was cheap or easy for God to obtain for us.
About 700 years before Jesus was born a prophet of God named Isaiah got a glimpse of what Jesus would go through to lay hold of the grace God freely gives to any who will ask.
The description starts at the end of chapter 52 and carries through the end of chapter 53.
“See, my servant will prosper; he will be highly exalted. But many were amazed when they saw him. His face was so disfigured he seemed hardly human, and from his appearance, one would scarcely know he was a man. And he will startle many nations. Kings will stand speechless in his presence. For they will see what they had not been told; they will understand what they had not heard about.”
Isaiah 52:13-15 – NLT
Jesus was flogged by the Romans by command of Pontius Pilate. He was whipped with a leather whip that had multiple stands of leather with bits of pottery and bone embedded in the lashes meant to tear the flesh from his back. His hands would be tied in front of him so there was no way to protect himself and there was no limit to where the torturer could land his whip.
Jesus body was destroyed by the flogging but then he still had to go to the cross.
“Who has believed our message? To whom has the Lord revealed his powerful arm? My servant grew up in the Lord’s presence like a tender green shoot, like a root in dry ground. There was nothing beautiful or majestic about his appearance, nothing to attract us to him. He was despised and rejected— a man of sorrows, acquainted with deepest grief. We turned our backs on him and looked the other way. He was despised, and we did not care. Yet it was our weaknesses he carried; it was our sorrows that weighed him down. And we thought his troubles were a punishment from God, a punishment for his own sins! But he was pierced for our rebellion, crushed for our sins. He was beaten so we could be whole. He was whipped so we could be healed. All of us, like sheep, have strayed away. We have left God’s paths to follow our own. Yet the Lord laid on him the sins of us all. He was oppressed and treated harshly, yet he never said a word. He was led like a lamb to the slaughter. And as a sheep is silent before the shearers, he did not open his mouth. Unjustly condemned, he was led away. No one cared that he died without descendants, that his life was cut short in midstream. But he was struck down for the rebellion of my people. He had done no wrong and had never deceived anyone. But he was buried like a criminal; he was put in a rich man’s grave. But it was the Lord’s good plan to crush him and cause him grief. Yet when his life is made an offering for sin, he will have many descendants. He will enjoy a long life, and the Lord ’s good plan will prosper in his hands. When he sees all that is accomplished by his anguish, he will be satisfied. And because of his experience, my righteous servant will make it possible for many to be counted righteous, for he will bear all their sins. I will give him the honors of a victorious soldier, because he exposed himself to death. He was counted among the rebels. He bore the sins of many and interceded for rebels.”
Isaiah 53:1-12 – NLT
If God showed Isaiah a glimpse of how horrible the death of the messiah would be, then Jesus knew what was coming before he left heaven.
Jesus had a mission and a purpose and a reason for coming to earth and dying as he did.
“But he was pierced for our rebellion, crushed for our sins. He was beaten so we could be whole. He was whipped so we could be healed.”
God’s Grace is free, but it was very costly.
Jesus did die but he didn’t stay dead. He rose from the dead.
The death he died, the suffering he endured, was to set us free from our sin. To pay debts that we owe. To wash stains away in our lives.
He knew what it would cost and he came and lived and died and rose again because God loves us.
God’s grace, his unmerited favor is free, but it’s not cheap. Have you received his grace yet? If so, have you begun to tell the world, your world, about all that Jesus has done and continues to do to save sinners like us?