Jesus paid it all…All to Him I owe…Sin had left a crimson stain…He washed it white as snow. This refrain from the classic hymn, Jesus Paid it All (Elvina M. Hall, 1865), echoed in my spirit recently as I prepared to teach a Bible lesson on Jesus’ Triumphal Entry recorded in Mark 11:1-11. The theme of the evening was “Lavishing Praise.”
Even though I was asked to teach on Mark 11:1-11, which recounts the multitudes crying out Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord…, the line of the hymn kept reverberating in my spirit and I began to sing it…Jesus paid it all…All to Him I owe…Sin had left a crimson stain…He washed it white as snow.
What an incomparable sacrifice! My Lord and Savior laid down His life to pay my sin debt, a debt I could never pay for myself. No number of my “good” deeds could ever cleanse my heart of the crimson stain of sin. My righteousness truly is as filthy rags (Isaiah 64:6). But thanks be to God that I am washed in the blood of Jesus because I have confessed with my mouth that Jesus Christ is Lord, and have believed in my heart that God rose Him from the grave (Romans 10:9-10)! By His atoning death on the cross, Jesus gave me His righteousness and took on the penalty of my sin.
Now, I am able to enter into the Father’s presence in full confidence that He will hear me when I call out to Him. When the Father looks at me, He no longer sees my sin, but He sees the righteousness of His Son, the pure and spotless Lamb. I am crucified with Christ and therefore I live (Galatians 2:20). I not only have access to the Father through Jesus here on earth, but because of Jesus’ awesome sacrifice, I will not pay the ultimate penalty for my sin, eternal damnation and separation from God. Instead, I will be able to spend eternity in the presence of the Lord. Praise God!
So what can we give to the one who gave His all for us? Praise! But not just praise when everything is going well…praise at all times. I will bless the Lord at all times; his praise shall continually be in my mouth (Psalm 34:1).
Scripture records Mary of Bethany living out the truth of Psalm 34:1. Her attitude of praise shows up when her sister Martha was “distracted with much serving” when Jesus came to visit their house (Luke 10:38-42). Where was Mary? She was at Jesus’ feet, listening attentively to his teaching (Luke 10:39). And after their brother, Lazarus, had died and Jesus came to meet them, Mary once again fell at Jesus’ feet before crying out, Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died (John 11:32). And, we can’t forget how she poured out her costly ointment on Jesus and washed His feet with her hair, amidst sneers from Jesus’ disciples (Matthew 26:6-13):
Now when Jesus was at Bethany in the house of Simon the leper, a woman came up to him with an alabaster flask of very expensive ointment, and she poured it on his head as he reclined at the table. And when the disciples saw it, they were indignant, saying, “Why this waste? For this could have been sold for a large sum and given to the poor.” But Jesus, aware of this, said to them, “Why do you trouble the woman? For she has done a beautiful thing to me. For you always have the poor with you, but you will not always have me. In pouring this ointment on my body, she has done it to prepare me for burial. Truly, I say to you, wherever this gospel is proclaimed in the whole world, what she has done will also be told in memory of her.
Truly, Mary knew whom she had believed and that He was worthy of all the praise! Let’s take a lesson from her, and praise the Lord at all times, and with our all!
Copyright 2011 by Nicole J. Johnson