Aeons ago when I was at school, someone in the Christian Union came up with the amazing title for a talk, “Free Love – a Costly Business”. Back in the 60’s, ‘free love’ as sleeping around was fondly entitled, was in full vogue, along with the hippies, flower power, and the ‘permissive society’. And then there was Jesus – who had loved freely, and paid the enormous price. Clever title!
Thinking about the patch of ground where the sacrifice of Isaac took place, in later times it was Araunah’s land, that David wished to use to build the temple. Araunah was happy to give it free of charge, but David said, “No, I insist on paying you for it. I will not sacrifice to the LORD my God burnt offerings that cost me nothing.” (2 Samuel 24 v 24)
Abraham too, was willing to bear the cost of sacrificing his son. On that occasion, though, God provided the ram in his place. So although he was willing, it actually cost him nothing (Genesis 22 v 12 – 14).
And I think that is how we need to be. Willing to sacrifice anything, but also willing to accept that only the sacrifice that God provided at Calvary, that cost him everything, is enough. The free love of Jesus, cost him everything, and in a sense costs us nothing.
Yet, at the same time, it costs us everything.
Were the whole realm of nature mine,
that were an offering far too small;
love so amazing, so divine,
demands my soul, my life, my all.