You Bought Me To Make Me Free, Evans Olang
John 12:4-6, “4 But one of His disciples, Judas Iscariot, Simon’s son, who would betray Him, said, 5 “Why was this fragrant oil not sold for three hundred denari and given to the poor?” 6 This he said, not that he cared for the poor, but because he was a thief, and had the moneybox; and he used to take what was put in it”
I never get tired of preaching the gospel or hearing it preached, why? The gospel is the power of God unto salvation, Romans 1:16. This is so powerful that it’s not a sinners prayer or belief or saying sorry that saves, it’s only the power of God that can free one from the slavery of sin. Yes these things I mentioned can bring us closer to be saved; the ultimate work is in the hands of the Lord who we yield to. Psalm 3:8, “Salvation belongs to the LORD”.
It pains me when I remember in my teenage life how I rebelled against God. A family friend tried to witness to me and right before his presence I mocked the gospel. My brother even begged me to just receive the Lord after seeing this poor guy struggle with me but still I refused. There were days when in trouble, I used the Lord as my means to an end. “I gave my life to Christ” for a season and for a reason until I got what I wanted then abandoned Him.
I identified with Judas Iscariot and I will explain why. Judas was one of the disciples, hanged around Jesus, looked and sounded like the rest. Unlike the disciples, only Jesus truly knew him. He was entrusted with the moneybag to which he stole from. He did not care for Jesus because when a woman brought an expensive oil to anoint Jesus, Judas had a problem with it. John 12:4-6, “4 But one of His disciples, Judas Iscariot, Simon’s son, who would betray Him, said, 5 “Why was this fragrant oil not sold for three hundred denari and given to the poor?” 6 This he said, not that he cared for the poor, but because he was a thief, and had the money box; and he used to take what was put in it”. Just like Judas, I too hanged around the Lord, was partaker of the blessings, was stealing from Him, did not worship Him and I had a problem with those who worshipped Him and how they worshiped. I was a hypocrite going to church, identified with those who were truly saved knowing sure I was not a true worshiper. When I received what I wanted, I betrayed Him with my life style, blaspheming His name by how I lived.
Matthew 26:14-15, “14 Then one of the twelve, called Judas Iscariot, went to the chief priests 15 and said, “What are you willing to give me if I deliver Him to you?” And they counted out to him thirty pieces of silver.” Judas so hated Jesus that despite the fact that he loved money and would have sought ways to make more, he went to the chief priests and was willing to take anything even the least so as to betray Him. My life was like that of Judas’, I was willing to do anything to get rid of Jesus out my life, after all, I the blessings is all I was looking for. To the world Judas was ok but again Jesus knew better. To the world I was ok, but Jesus knew better. Like Judah, I sold Him out cheap. How this pains me when I think about it. And more and more I became a slave to sin. Ensnared without even guilt. Back then it was no big deal but when my eyes were opened to see how wretched I was and how my lifestyle would have made Judas look like a choir boy, “I said Lord, I am done with myself and in my sin of breaking his laws where rebellion and betrayal were present, I heard that He died for me by paying the highest price to save a wretch like me” How that hymn “Amazing grace” makes grace sounds amazing. I have seen the cost to appreciate the sacrifice.
Let me share a true story that brings this point home. I first heard it told by the late Paris Reidhead, “During the years when slavery was legal in the United States, a gentleman happened upon a slave-bidding in a crowed street. The man paused to observe the activities. As he watched from the edge of the crowd, he saw one slave after another led to a platform, their arms and legs shackled with ropes as if they were animals. Displayed before the jeering crowd, they were auctioned off, one by one. Some onlookers would inspect the “merchandise”, grabbing disrespectfully at the women, examining the muscular arms of the men. The gentleman studied the group of slaves waiting nearby. He paused when he saw a young girl standing at the back. Her eyes were filled with fear. She looked so frightened. He hesitated for a moment and then disappeared briefly. When he returned, the auctioneer was about to start the bidding for the young girl he had noticed beforehand.
As the auctioneer opened the bidding, the gentleman shouted out a bid that was twice the amount of any other selling price offered that day. There was silence for an instance, and then the gavel fell as, “sold to the gentleman” was heard. The gentleman stepped forward, making his way through the crowd. He waited at the bottom of the steps as the young girl was led down to her new owner.
The rope, which bound her, was handed to the man, who accepted it without saying anything. The young girl stared at the ground. Suddenly she looked up and spit in his face. Silently, he reached for a handkerchief and wiped the spittle from his face. He smiled gently at the young girl and said, “Follow me”. She followed him reluctantly. As they reached the edge of the crowd, he continued to a nearby area where each deal was closed legally.
When a slave was set free, legal documents, called manumission papers, were necessary. The gentleman paid the purchase price and signed the necessary documents. When the transaction was complete, he turned to the young girl and presented the documents to her. Startled, she looked at him with uncertainty. Her narrowed eyes asked, what are you doing? The gentlemen responded to her questioning look. He said, “Here, take these papers. I bought you to make you free. As long as you have these papers in your possession, no man can ever make you a slave again.
The girl looked into his face. What was happening? There was silence. Slowly, she said, “You bought me, to make me free?” “You bought me, to make me free?” As she repeated this phrase over and over, the significance of what had just happened became more and more real to her. “You bought me, to make me free?” Was it possible that a stranger had just granted her freedom and never again could she be held in bondage and servitude to any man? As she began to grasp the significance of the documents, which she now held in her hand, she fell to her knees and wept at the gentleman’s feet. Through her tears of joy and gratitude, she said, “YOU BOUGHT ME, TO MAKE ME FREE…. I’LL SERVE YOU FOREVER!”
I am like the slave girl who spat on His face and Judas who stole and betrayed Him, and even in that, He bought me to free me. In 1993 at the age of 19, I repented and put my trust in Him alone for my eternal salvation and I vowed to serve Him forever. To give Him the obedience I refused to give Him. My question to you, are you a Judas like I was or have you passed from death to life? You could be saying you will do it one day and continue to use the Lord as your means to an end. Tomorrow is promised to no one. I wasted my teenage years living for the devil as his slave while I could have started living for God then, are you wasting time? Do you know you are running out time? Today is the day of salvation, He has done everything to save you, what is holding you from repenting and trusting? How else can I drive this point home that He bought you to free you? Oh the wonderful cross. MAY THE LAMB THAT WAS SLAIN RECEIVE THE REWARD OF HIS SUFFERING. Blessings Ev