There are some things that I wouldn’t trade for anything. There are some things that are just too valuable to be given up. My wife, my kids, my family, my friends—they are all so valuable that I would place them above all other things. Then, there’s my relationship with Christ. After a little bit of soul-searching today, I realized a few things.
My relationship with Him should be the single most important thing in my life. It is not for sale, trade, or otherwise. He is number one, right? Well, something I read today took on a whole new meaning.
In Luke 23, Jesus has been handed over to the religious leaders and has bounced around from Pilate to Herod, and back to Pilate, as each is asked to pass judgment against Jesus. Neither of them was able to find anything against Jesus. But those in the crowd demanded that He be put to death. In fact, they wanted to make a trade. In Luke 23:18-22, this story is told.
18 Then a mighty roar rose from the crowd, and with one voice they shouted, “Kill him, and release Barabbas to us!” 19 (Barabbas was in prison for taking part in an insurrection in Jerusalem against the government, and for murder.) 20 Pilate argued with them, because he wanted to release Jesus. 21 But they kept shouting, “Crucify him! Crucify him!”
Did you see who they wanted to trade for? They wanted Jesus to be killed and in exchange receive a murderer! They had completely lost sight of what was true, fair, and even logical. Their disdain for Jesus was so great that they would rather make this type of trade than to continue to have their hearts exposed for who they truly were.
Back to the original point. There are some things that are just too valuable to trade for, and my relationship with Christ should be one of those things. But, I believe that too often we trade in that relationship for convenience, for selfishness, for all types of things that we have started putting first in our lives. When that happens, we not only trade that relationship for something that is temporary, but we ultimately sacrifice our relationship with Him for something we have unknowingly or subconsciously put in His place. When that happens, we crucify Him, we sacrifice Him, and we ask for Barabbas. It’s nothing that we realize that we are doing, but something that sneaks into our lives, and slowly but surely, we have created an idol.
What is it that needs to be sacrificed today? What is it that needs to be put back into its place so Jesus can be put in His rightful place? Or are we going to be weak, as Pilate was, and give in to the demands of the public, the demands of work, the demands of life?
We are called to be strong! Be bold! Stand up and say that enough is enough! Don’t sacrifice your relationship with Him for anything. He isn’t going to do that to you. He is there all the time. Tell the world that when it comes to Him, there’s no trade.