|making an easter card|
quoted from a Good Friday missionary update I received from a family serving as missionaries in very rural China.
"The common US expression “Freedom isn’t free” describes how the blood-and-tear sacrifices of our militaries over two and a half centuries have secured for our citizens a freedom all can enjoy, though most do not fully appreciate its cost. In like manner, believers across the world enjoy a freedom in salvation which, although free for the taking, was never free for the giving, and most do not fully comprehend or appreciate its true cost.
If ever inclined to do so, sinful human beings can forgive others who’ve wronged them, simply “out of the goodness of the heart”; yet this is something that God could never do. Such arbitrary, inconsistent, and likely short-lived “forgiveness” finds little comparison to the forgiveness God offers (Matthew 18:21-35), for it truly costs us nothing. In reality, our holy and just God could never forgive sin simply because He’s kind and loving, for it is neither kind nor loving (nor holy nor just) to let a debt of sin go unpaid. God’s forgiveness had a cost: His forgiveness finds its kindness, love, holiness, and justice in the work of Jesus Christ, in the shedding of His Son’s own precious blood on the cross (Hebrews ).
We often (redundantly) describe salvation as “God’s free gift,” and Scripture also speaks of our having been “freely justified” (Romans , ASV) and how God will “freely give us all things” (Romans , ASV; 1Corinthians , ESV), yet these descriptions are fully people-centered. We must never forget that—divinely speaking—our justification was far from free. At great expense to Himself, God provided the world with a Gift, the life of His own dear Son. In His death, Jesus “paid the ultimate price” for our redemption, and this cost—having satisfied our sin debt outstanding—is the very basis of divine forgiveness.
Directly quoted from a missionary update I received; this family serves as missionaries in very rural China