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Dr. Luther says, "Consider the price of this ransom, look carefully at this captive. he is The Son of God who is greater than all creation. How will you respond when you hear that such a priceless treasure was paid for your sins? Will you still want to offer your works done under the Law? What is the works of all men, the suffering of the martyrs, and the obedience of the holy angels compared with what The Son of God has given in His death, even death on a cross?"(Treasury of Daily Prayer Pent 5 Saturday, page 155).
Jesus is our priceless treasure, meaning there is nothing in this world that we could ever compare what He sacrificed on the cross for us. This could guilt us and make us feel inadequate. This reality could drag us into despair over the guilt we bear in our sin, and it should. There is nothing we can offer that equals the sacrifice of Jesus because we are sinful and unclean. The cross of Jesus happened because we do not keep the Ten Commandments, and we are all conceived sinful and unclean. No work, no sacrifice of our own, no obedience we follow, and no progress we think we are making in this life will ever add up to the bill we have to pay for our transgressions. Only Jesus is the perfect sacrifice, the only payment that pays the bill in full for all mankind's fall.
Let us then not look to our own works, our own feelings of righteousness, or our own perceptions of progress in holiness. Let us instead look to the holiness of Jesus, His obedience under the Law, His obedience up to death, even death on a cross. Let us look to Jesus obedience and know that He did this, not to guilt us, but to save us. Let us look to Jesus mercy, His grace, His abundant and steadfast love endures forever. Let us look to Jesus who forgives sins, all sins, even the sin of unbelief as we see in Mark 16 that says, "But when they heard that He was alive and had been seen by her, they would not believe it" (Mark 16:11). Jesus followed this with, "Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved. Whoever does not believe will be condemned" (Mark 16:16). Jesus forgave the apostles their doubt and unbelief and sent them out to baptize and preach the gospel that all may be saved. Jesus forgave the apostles their doubt concerning His resurrection. Do you not know that He will forgive you as well. Will He not forgive you your habitual sins and all your guilt and shame. Jesus forgave the apostle's unbelief, He will forgive yours as well because on the cross He paid the price so that He could free all from their captivity to sin, death, world, and the power of the devil.
Take heart my friends this day and know that Jesus is not just the priceless treasure, but He is your priceless treasure for life eternal. He paid the price and wills to save you. May the devil be silenced, the world be hushed, and the Old Adam be drowned anew so that you hear only the voice of your Savior Jesus who say, "I forgive you. Go in peace," Amen.