Twenty years ago, I hated shopping. Why take half a day to check a dozen different stores across town, and then go back to the second store and buy the item for a few dollars less? My time was worth more than the difference.
Now, I like to shop, because I can quickly cruise the Internet and find exactly what I want at the lowest price.
We should not confuse value with cost. What’s the distinction? Cost has to do with the amount. Value has to do with the reason behind our sacrifice and whether the item will (1) fully satisfy its intended purpose and (2) do it at minimal cost.
I understand that God paid the highest cost, his life, to save worthless sinners from death. People have trouble understanding why he would do that, saying, “You don’t know what I’ve done. I’m not worth saving.” What’s the answer?
We might say, “He loves us because of who he is, not because of what we are,” but is that explanation sufficient?
When Jesus was asked whether taxes should be paid to Caesar or God, he requested a coin. The coin with Caesar’s image had value in Rome and its territories, not because of the metal’s value but because of the image printed on it.
In the beginning, we were made in God’s image (Genesis 1:26). Sin made us worthless because our self-serving natures alienated us from God (Colossians 1:21). God’s sacrifice made it possible for us to become like him, bearing his image that gives us value.
If I am to be worth the price, then I not only need to bear God’s image, but I need to do his work, fulfilling the purpose for which he paid so much.
They handed him a Roman coin.
“Whose image and inscription is this?”
“Caesar’s,” they said.
“Then pay to Caesar what belongs to him, and give God all that is God’s.”
— Mark 12:16–17 from Eyewitness: The Life of Christ Told in One Story