I am a pretty finicky eater. When I am at a restaurant, I try to get the menu as soon as possible because it takes me a very long time to order my food. There are so many factors that come into play when I am making food choices. I have to consider the price, the foods I enjoy, what I have already consumed that day or week, if there is a new item I am willing to try, and the list goes on and on. The things I know for certain are that there are a limited amount of green vegetables that I will eat, I do not eat eggs from a restaurant unless it is in an omelet, and I do not eat anything slimy, like oysters.
Because of my picky eating habits, when I get the menu, I have to see if there is a cost of substitution. Sometimes, I can just swap a green side item for a more appealing side item, but if I want a salad, I have to pay extra. Sometimes, the menu flat out say that there are no substitutions for certain dishes. Other times, I can make one substitution for free, but there is a charge for each additional one. The cost of substitution plays a huge factor in what I order to eat, but I am so glad that God did not get caught up in the cost of substitution when it came to my life.
In Romans 5, it explains that Adam’s sin brought sin and death to all who followed Him. Under the law, there had to be a sacrifice in order to achieve forgiveness. But, nothing on Earth was enough of a sacrifice to cover the sins of all mankind. So, God offered His only Son as a substitute for each and every one of us. Therefore, though one man’s sins brought death to many, by one Man’s act of righteousness, each of us has an opportunity to have a new life, an eternal life.
The cost of this substitution was insurmountable. Jesus Christ, who had never done anything wrong, was berated, beaten, broken, bruised, and buried in a borrowed tomb. Many of us have a very short list of people for whom we would lay down our lives. That list often includes family members (and sometimes only certain ones), very close friends (depending on the situation), those who are helpless to defend themselves, or perhaps, those who are “very good” people. But, God was willing to pay the ultimate cost of substitution. He was willing to send His Son from heaven, as an example of righteous living by a human being, to die for our sins, so that we could have the opportunity to accept the gifts of salvation and forgiveness. This substitution cost God everything and it costs us nothing to accept it.
Now, when I am in a restaurant and the item substitution is free, I am quick to accept the substitution, and I have no doubt that many others are as well. So, why is it that we cannot accept the free gift of salvation? Yes, being saved by faith through Christ Jesus means that we make some changes in our lives, but there is no actual cost to us. We could never ever repay God; however, we can obey God. And, we can show our appreciation for His amazing grace by praising Him.
God did not wait until we were “good people” to offer His Son as a substitute for us. While we were still sinners, God gave us the opportunity for the free gift of salvation and eternal life. God, through the death, burial and resurrection Jesus Christ, paid the cost of substitution. So now, you must ask yourself, “Am I willing to accept Him as my Savior and Lord?” As satisfying as the substitutions I make for my meals can be, there is nothing more satisfying than Jesus, the Bread of Life and the Living Water. Ms. EV