THE HIGH COST OF LIVING                                                                                                        Andy Hollifield 1-18-18

Luke 15:10 Likewise, I say unto you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner that repenteth.

John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

John 10:10 The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.

John 15:13 Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.

John 19:30 When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, It is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost.

1 Thessalonians 4:16-18 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: (17) Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with him in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. (18) Wherefore comfort one another with these words.

Revelation 5:4-5 And I wept much, because no one was found worthy to open and to read the book, neither to look thereon. (5) And one of the elders saith unto me, Weep not: Behold the Lion of the tribe of Juda, the Root of David, hath prevailed to open the book, and to loose the seven seals thereof.

I was playing the piano a little bit Thursday night and I stumbled across a song that I decided to try to play. Sometimes I just accidentally hit a few notes and it sounds familiar. That was the case this time. As I sat and tried to figure out what the name of the song was, it finally dawned on me that it was “Look For Me At Jesus Feet.” I don’t think I had ever tried to play it although it was one of the first songs I ever sang in church around 45 years ago. The general idea of the song is that one person is telling another where to look for him in heaven if he goes before the other person. One of the most beautiful renditions of the song is by The Booth Brothers of the Gaither Homecoming singers. The chorus of the songs tells the other where not to look for him. Some of the words are: , “Don’t look ‘neath the gates of pearl, don’t look on the streets of gold. Don’t look by the walls of jasper, nor among the many sights untold. For I’ve been longing and I’ve been waiting, for the Precious, Holy One to see. There I’ll be through the countless ages, look for me at Jesus feet.” Squire Parsons must have really done some praying before he wrote that song. That got me to thinking about the great price that was paid for my salvation so that I could have forgiveness of all my sin, past, present, and future.

Have you ever thought of what that must have been like in heaven. A search was made in heaven and in the earth and beneath the earth. No one was found that was without sin and without spot or blemish that was worthy to be the supreme sacrifice; the perfect sacrifice that would put an end to all sacrifices. The one perfect lamb that would satisfy the holiness of God almighty. Nothing short of perfection would do because God was perfect. John said in Revelation 5 that he wept much because no one was found worthy. Truly he felt it was a hopeless situation and it really was. Except for one perfect lamb; God the Son. When a sacrifice was required to cleanse man from his sin, he was the only perfect lamb. The angels were created beings whose job it was to carry out the wishes and commands of God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Ghost. Can you imagine the gasp among the angels as Jesus stood up and said “I’ll go and be the propitiation for their sin.” “Could this really be happening?” they must have thought. “Why would God the Son leave his throne, lay aside his glory, to give his life for depraved humanity?” He was the prince of heaven and now he was laying his deity aside to go and sacrifice his life for sinful man. God’s creation that had turned their back on him and his statutes. “Why would Jesus do this?” Simply because it was his Father’s will. It had been planned that way since before the foundation of the world. Before Adam had even been made of dust and placed in the garden, God knew that he would not resist temptation. It was no surprise to God when Adam took of the fruit. God had given man a free will to choose God’s will or his own lusts. Now even after all that humanity had done to shake their fist in the face of God the Father, and now God the Son was going to sacrifice himself to purchase, by his perfect blood, the forgiveness that depraved man so desperately needed. The angels knew the depraved state of man. They had been doing God’s bidding on the earth and bringing judgment where God said to bring it. Now he was laying everything aside for God’s wretched creation. The man who God himself had knelt down on the ground and breathed the breath of life into and he became a living soul. But why? Just because he loved the creation of God; mankind. The angels no doubt could not understand why he would go.

We know how that Jesus came and was born of a virgin by an overshadowing of the Holy Ghost. We also know his life and his ministry and the miracles he performed and the rejection by his own people that he endured. We also know how he gave his life on that cross to obtain forgiveness of sin for whosoever would repent and accept his free gift of salvation. We know the earthly side of the crucifixion, but what about the heavenly side? Can you imagine what must have been going through the mind of the angels in heaven as Jesus was betrayed and arrested that night in the garden. Before, when he was being tempted of the devil, the angels had come to earth and ministered unto him. But now, as he faced mock trials and was eventually condemned to death, the angels were no doubt restrained by God the Father and not allowed to interfere. What about God? Knowing that as soon as they put his only Son begotten of woman on that cross, he would soon have to turn his back on him. Then when he did and the veil of the temple was rent when Jesus gave up the ghost. Can you imagine how much the angels probably wanted to come and take him down from the cross and rain judgment on the enemies of Jesus? No doubt, the host of heaven probably stood in silence as they watched the horror unfold and were not permitted to do anything to stop it. Obviously at some point, Jesus ascended back to the Father after Mary had seen him in the garden and placed that precious perfect, royal, blood on the mercy seat of God and thereby satisfying the requirement for sin. Can you imagine what a celebration it must have been among the angels in heaven upon seeing him make entry into heaven with that blood? Later that same day in Galilee, he told his disciples to touch him. At some point in between, the holiness of God had been satisfied. He had spent three days in the heart of the earth preaching to those that were in paradise and then came forth leading captivity captive to their new home in heaven. Can you imagine the angel’s reaction when Jesus marched into heaven leading all of those that had died in faith looking to the cross? Around forty days later, Jesus entered heaven again after ascending from the earth. With his mission now complete, the celebration could begin. The prince of heaven had returned for a while to prepare a place for those that love him, those that he had given his life to save. He is there only temporarily. Only the father knows the day and the hour but soon he will instruct his Son to go and bring his bride home to be with him. Talk about a celebration in the presence of the angels! When all of the saints that have gone on before us finally get to sit down with all of us at the marriage supper, what a time that will be!

I don’t have bible for all of this but it is how I imagine it must have been in heaven and what it is soon going to be like when we get there. Even though he never sinned, Jesus paid the high cost of living that we could never pay so that we could live and have a more abundant life. I hope this has spurred some thought in your mind and been a blessing to you. Because of the high cost of living that Jesus paid, we have something that, according to 1 Peter 1:12, “which things the angels desire to look into.” Have a blessed day in the Lord!!!

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