Margie received a bill from the hospital for her recent surgery. She was astonished to see a $900.00 fee for the anesthesiologist. She called his office to demand an explanation.
"Is this some kind of mistake?" Margie asked when she got the doctor on the phone. "No, not at all," the doctor said calmly. "Well," said Margie, "that's awfully costly for knocking someone out."
"Not at all," replied the doctor. "I knock you out for free. The nine hundred dollars is for bringing you back around."
This Easter weekend, let’s stop and think of the price God paid to redeem every one of us. For a moment, let’s shift our focus from what we are doing to what God has done for us. God redeems and lifts. The price for resurrecting and restoring a life is much more expensive than condemning a life. God gave us the gift of eternal life rather than the debt of a funeral. He paid the ultimate price, His very own Son to “bring us back around.”
Jesus demonstrated His willingness to bring people back around while he was living on earth, and even more, in His death and resurrection. Jesus inspired. Jesus cared. Jesus equipped. Jesus was the embodiment of grace and truth expressed in love. He prepared people for life now and more life on the way.
An amazing fact about the ministry of Jesus was that He released people to be who they were created to be. He released their genius and purpose. He sent people out unencumbered, free from emotional and physical clutter. He kept it simple so everyone could understand. He didn't disqualify them, even when they left Him near the end of His ministry here on earth.
He helped people to face their 'unfaceables' like fear, inadequacy, prejudice and unworthiness. It takes a special person to do that. But, Jesus was up to the task. He understood there is a little crazy in all of us, yet He didn't judge us for that. It’s like He said to each one of us, “You’re not weird. You're exotic! I see God’s workmanship in you.” Jesus sees the person in the person. He separates the person from the person’s behavior, background or problems. Just because someone has cancer (physically or figuratively) doesn’t mean they are cancer.
Look at His disciples. He had someone who was in the Internal Revenue Service of that time and in the Hell's Angels of that time on His team. Have you heard of Matthew, the taxman? Or how about James and John, the Sons of Thunder. Now, there's a great name for a motorcycle gang! He brought those people back around. He still brings people back around.
Jesus made people feel welcome. He spread the welcome mat out for prodigal sons, wounded Samaritans, marginalized lepers, and women of ill repute. Remember the prodigal son? Talk about restoration of a family. "And when His father saw him, he ran out to meet him." Luke 15:20. Now, that's what I call a welcome mat. And, the Bible says, He is going to prepare a place for us in heaven, if we believe in Him. I wonder how much houses go for in heaven? One thing for sure. It’s been bought and paid for.
Read what the Bible says. "But now that you've found you don't have to listen to sin tell you what to do, and have discovered the delight of listening to God telling you what to do, what a surprise! A whole, healed, put-together life right now, with more and more life on the way! Work hard for sin your whole life and your pension is death. But God's gift is real life, eternal life, delivered by Jesus." Romans 6:22-23.
Do you believe this? If you do, ask Jesus into your heart this Easter. Pray, “Jesus, I believe in you. I believe God raised You from the dead to show me that there is eternal life in heaven. I receive you as Lord and Savior.” If you prayed this prayer and meant it, welcome to God’s family. Let me know by email if you like.
Maybe the price of that anesthesiologist wasn't so much after all!