Once and for All

“So Christ was offered once to bear the sins of many …”

— Hebrews 9:28

Have you ever experienced the joy of giving someone a gift with no strings attached, no expectation of thanks, no anticipation of reciprocation? Then you have a small taste of Christ’s joy in providing salvation for us. And yet we find it so hard to accept this gift at face value. We seem to want to add to it just for good measure. But we have nothing to add. Jesus’ sacrifice was perfect, atoning for all sins forever. He has paid our debt in full.

I recall once reading of a master wood craftsman who spent months constructing a beautiful coffee table for his friend. He carved all manner of intricate designs around the side of the table and applied seventeen coats to the surface, a Parisian finish, until it glistened. You could see your face in it as if it were a mirror. The craftsman brought the table wrapped in a soft cloth to his friend, unveiled it, and said, “Voilà. There it is—the long-anticipated gift.”

Though the table was indeed a thing of consummate beauty, the craftsman’s friend said, “Oh, I…I think it is just magnificent, but I couldn’t simply accept it as a gift. You have done all the work. Surely I must do my part.” With that the friend picked up a piece of sandpaper and started to sand the top of the table. The master craftsman grabbed his friend’s wrist and said, “Stop that. You’ll ruin it all. It is finished.”

So it is with the great redemption wrought by Christ. Just before He gave up His spirit, Christ said, “It is finished.” Done. Complete. We can add nothing; indeed, we in our sinfulness have nothing to offer. But nothing is needed. Christ’s sacrifice is perfect. Christ suffered infinitely upon the cross and paid an infinite price—in full.

The only “sacrifice” we can now give to the Lord is a sacrifice of praise for what He has done. So, if you haven’t already, accept the gift. Stop trying to earn it; just take it from Christ with a heart full of gratitude.

“Jesus paid it all, all to Him I owe.
Sin had left a crimson stain;
He washed it white as snow.”
Elvina M. Hall