Sunday, September 27, 2015

The Sale

As I drive back and forth to the ‘day job’, I occasionally drive past a farm where everything is out in the yard and pastures being staged for an estate sale.  Whenever I see the rows and rows of things that once made up a home and farm, all being readied to be sold to the highest bidder, my mind immediately goes back to my father-in-law’s estate sale.  As we placed all his worldly possessions out in the yard, we were struck with the idea of how much an estate sale is like a memorial. 

My father in-law was a mechanic as well as a skilled machinist.  For the last couple of decades of his life he turned his talents toward collecting and restoring antique tractors.  In addition to lots of machine tools, 36 tractors in various stages of restoration, and piles and piles (and piles) of parts he also had collections of antique wrenches and toy farm equipment.  Before the sale, as everything was in the yard waiting to be sold, we could see so much of Dad in the things he once possessed.  Many of his friends stopped by and had a story about this piece or that, and how it fit into their relationship with him.

The bidding began and over a couple of days the physical vestiges a life’s work passed into history.  It was a time of transition.  Soon the real estate was sold and the transition was complete.  The old was gone and the family was left with memories of a father and of a childhood home.  Each of the children has a few family possessions in their home and there is stone in a cemetery that marks his final resting place.

Many years ago, another Man’s life work was exhibited in public for all to see.  The few possessions went to those who understood Him the least.  He, Himself was on display, nailed to a cross – seemingly sold cheap to highest bidder.  Many of His friends were there, and also many enemies.   Over the course of a day, friends and enemies alike watched a man die and be buried.    His friends gathered together and I can imagine them all sharing stories about this conversation on that and how it fit into their relationship.  It was a time of transition that most did not understand.

But then something unexpected happened.  The tomb was emptied and the Man walked again among His friends - and those who hated Him.  Over a forty day period He finished His life’s work and went away again to be with His Father for a time.  That was nearly 2000 years ago, and it was a time of monumental transition.

As we look back now through the eyes of His written Word we see His life’s work, set out for all see.  And as we gaze at the whole we begin to understand this man, Jesus, in a way that one piece – one story – at a time does not allow.   The accounts told in His book weave a tapestry of love and righteousness, of majesty and humility, of power and sacrifice.  And eventually we begin to see that He was not the one for sale – we were.  We begin to see that we were being auctioned off in a sale with only two bidders and that His life’s work - His birth, His teaching, the Cross and the empty tomb, His whole life, was the price of our purchase.

1 Cor. 6:19-20 (NIV)
    Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; [20] you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body.

In that time of transition everything was turned upside down.  The buyer becomes the property being sold and the seller becomes the currency.  Instead of us buying forgiveness for one more year with the blood of bulls and lambs and doves, we were bought with the blood of the Son of God.  And as we look at the cross, which is now a part of history, it takes on new meaning.  There we were bought and paid for at a terrible price.  By paying that price He initiated for us a new relationship with Him.

Galatians 3:26-29(NIV)
   You are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus, [27] for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. [28] There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. [29] If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise.

He, in effect, made us His brothers and sisters – children of God.  And because we forget, He set forth a memorial.

1 Cor. 11:24-25(NIV)
    … and when he had given thanks, he broke it and said, "This is my body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of me." [25] In the same way, after supper he took the cup, saying, "This cup is the new covenant in my blood; do this, whenever you drink it, in remembrance of me."

One day He’ll return to gather those who belong to Him and take us home, making what is now the new covenant old.  Until then, I encourage all who believe and call Him Lord to remember "The Sale” and the price that was paid.

1 comment:

  1. I'm sorry I missed this this morning but I love the analogy. Thank you.