I did a little research recently and discovered some news that wasn’t totally unexpected. According to government and business sources, The average American household has over $250,000 in debt including:
Mortgage = $169,000
Student Loans = $48,000
Auto Loans = $27,000
Credit Card = $16,000
That’s over $12 trillion household debt in our nation! This debt will be very difficult to reduce substantially, and for many households it will never be paid off (at least until they die).
There is another debt that none of us can pay. That is our sin debt. However, there is One who has paid that debt for us. While hanging on the cross of Calvary, Jesus’ last statement was “It is finished!” The Greek word He cried out was “tetelestai.” This word is indeed translated “it is finished” in the Bible and it refers to the mission Jesus came to this earth to fulfill, that is, to be the “Lamb of God” or the final sacrifice needed for our sins. The Old Testament (covenant) required the people of God to make sacrifices before Him as an atonement for their sins. Jesus came as the new covenant between God and man, and His sacrificial death was the last act of atonement necessary to satisfy the judicial nature of God.
Most of the time we emphasize the loving nature of God, and rightly so, for as the Bible tells us “God is love.” However, we must not forget that God is also just. His just nature demands that the guilty must pay for their offenses toward Him (sin). The problem we face is that we have no way in which to pay the debt we owe without suffering eternal death. So, in order to satisfy His demand for justice and his love for those He created, God became a man (Jesus) and took upon Himself the penalty our sins called for . . . death!
It has been said, “We owed a debt we could not pay, He paid a debt He did not owe!” That leads me to a second meaning of the word “tetelestai.” It as a word used in the business world of that day. When someone paid for something they purchased the person would receive a receipt with the word “tetelestai” printed on it, which literally meant “paid in full.” With His last gasping breaths Jesus managed to cry out loudly “PAID IN FULL!” He was declaring to all eternity that the Lamb of God had paid the price necessary for redeeming His most beloved possession – you. There is nothing else that can ever be done to buy your pardon, nothing else that possibly redeem you for all eternity. As the old hymn says, “What can wash away my sin? Nothing but the blood of Jesus!”
Never consider yourself to be worthless. That couldn’t be further from the truth. Easter is the proof that you are very important to God . . . so much so that He gave His Son to die in your place. Now, how’s that for letting you know you’re loved?