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How much is Jesus for you? by Pastor Youngjae

posted Apr 24, 2014, 11:17 AM by Bowmansville UMC   [ updated Apr 24, 2014, 11:22 AM ]

There is a TV show I used to enjoy watching late at night sometimes.  It is called “Antiques Roadshow.”  Have you seen it?  People bring lots of stuff into that show.  I have seen many times that people were amazed when they found the real value of the stuff that they already owned.  This guy brought in an old paining to the show.  He said that he bought it with a few bucks at a rummage sale years ago.  After a few days of displaying in his living room, he kept it in the garage not really paying much attention to it.  On the show, however, he found that the painting is worth thousands and thousands dollars. 

Of course he was surprised.  Guess what he would do afterwards.   Would he still keep it in the corner of the garage piling it together with other junks?  Or would he take it inside and clean it and keep it like a treasure?  The answer is obvious, isn’t it?  Imagine the guy who sold the picture at the garage sale when he found out about the value of the picture.  Would he be happy?  Can it be reclaimed with a few bucks he received?  Maybe, not!

That is right.  It happens that we already have something valuable in our hands, but just don’t know how valuable it is.  In that case, there is a high chance that we just throw it into the garage and let the dust cover it, or we may sell it for just a few bucks. 

Judas sold Jesus out for thirty silver coins.  All the chief priests and the elders of the people turned Jesus over to Pontius Pilate to keep their vested interests protected.   Pilate handed him over to be crucified.  His wife knew there must have been something about him.  She asked Pilate to do nothing against him.  However he didn’t listen.  The guy who sold the picture at the garage sale might have a wife telling him not to sell because it might be worth something, but he sold it anyway.  You know you have to hear your wife.  That is a lesson.  Pilate didn’t want any riot.  He didn’t want to upset the priests, the elders, and the crowd.  That was his value.  Jesus’s innocence was less valuable than his interest.

Pilate didn’t want to be blamed for Jesus’ crucifixion.  He offered a choice between Jesus and Barabbas.  Once the crowd chose Barabbas instead of Jesus, Pilate took water and washed his hands and said to the crowd, “I am innocent of his blood.  It is your responsibility.”  The crowd chose Barabbas over Jesus.  A good portion of them might welcome Jesus with palm leaves saying “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!  Hosanna in the highest!”  But they were persuaded by the high priests and the elders.  Their value system was not consistent.  One time they say “Hosanna in the highest!”, and at the other time they say “Crucify him!”

Jesus was handed over to the soldiers.  He was flogged, mocked, spat on, pierced, nailed on the cross.  On his head there was a crown of thorns.  Above his head there was a written charge, “THIS IS JESUS, THE KING OF JEWS.”  But no one knew the true meaning of them.  No one knew the true value of Jesus.   No one knew the true value of his suffering.  No one knew until he was resurrected from the tomb.  The painting was covered with dust and mistreated, but no one knew the real value until it was brought out of the garage and to the Antiques Roadshow.

What is your interest?  What are your valuables?     

Do you know this Hymn, UMH #288 “Were You There”?  The lyric goes like this: “Were you there when they crucified my Lord? …. Oh! Sometimes it causes me to tremble, tremble, tremble ….”  Judas tried to return thirty silver coins, but was refused.  He ended his life miserably.  There were the centurion, soldiers, and other people who terrified and exclaimed that Jesus was the Son of God after seeing earthquake, temple curtains being torn down, and resurrection of the saints.  There were also a few faithful women who followed Jesus.  They might be the ones who knew even dimly the value of Jesus and his suffering.

Are you there when they crucify Jesus?  Where do you find yourself?  Do you find yourself in the crowd, the soldiers, the priests, the elders, or Pilate who crucifies Jesus?  Or do you find yourself who knows the true value of Jesus and his suffering? How much is Jesus for you?  A few bucks?  Thirty silver coins? Or do you have politically usable value on him?  Do you fulfill your interest by selling out the name Jesus?  How much is Jesus for you?

Someone said, “The value of Jesus is me because he paid himself to save me.”  The value of Jesus is the value of you yourself.  Because Jesus so loved you that he paid himself to have you back.  You are priceless for him.  Is he priceless for you?  Well, you already have him.  He is given to you. The value of him is something for you to find.  I hope you find the true value of Jesus and his suffering instead of putting it in the dust, neglecting it or selling it out with a few bucks.  That is our prayer in this time of the Easter season. 

“The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field.  When a man found it, he hid it again, and then in his joy went and sold all he had and bought that field.” (Matthew 13:44) 

May you find the treasure and buy that field!  Amen, amen!