An excerpt from “Reaching for Healing”:
Have you seen those make-up adverts with the slogan, “Because you’re worth it”? They play on our need to be valued and loved. Deep down, though, we all know that no matter how many times a multinational cosmetic company says, “you’re worth it”, the feeling wipes off with the make-up, and it is plain old us again. The truth is we won’t know true love, value, or worth until we recognise what Jesus did for us on the cross. On the cross Jesus counted out our worth, not in loose change or even gold bars, but in pints of his own blood; one, two, three, four … until he was completely spent.
Jesus went to the cross to pay for the things we did. We deserve to be punished and crushed for what we have done, but Jesus loves us so much that he was prepared to be punished and crushed in our place. Have you ever had anyone else do something like that for you? Maybe you think love is about getting. Maybe the people who said they loved you were just taking from you. Well, Jesus is different; he gave himself up for you.
Jesus suffered in our place because he really, really wanted to. He loves us that much. On the cross he saw us individually and together as the church, his beautiful bride, and he counted us well worth the cost:
Out of the anguish of his soul he shall see and be satisfied. (Isaiah 53:11)
The New Testament puts it like this:
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. (John 3:16)
Jesus so loved us, so loved you, and so loved me that he was prepared to stand in our place and take the punishment that we deserve. Each time the whip tore into his body, each time a nail was hammered deeper in to his wrists, each time he pushed himself up to take a breath of air, he was loving us by bearing the cost of our sin, loving us by paying the price of our rebellion.