Imagine you live in a town with two stores that both sell fruit. One store sells fruit that costs an entire life’s worth of wages, but the fruit is spoiled and rotten. The other store, however, sells the rarest, juiciest, most delicious fruit in existence. There is no other fruit on the planet better than the fruit at this store. And it’s free. It doesn’t cost a dime to eat that fruit; the store owner hands it out for free to anyone who wants it, no strings attached.
Which store would you give your business to?
The answer seems so obvious. Duh, the one with the free fruit, you say.
Isaiah 55:1-2 says,
“Come, everyone who thirsts,
come to the waters;
and he who has no money,
come, buy and eat!
Come, buy wine and milk
without money and without price.
Why do you spend your money for that which is not bread,
and your labor for that which does not satisfy?
Listen diligently to me, and eat what is good,
and delight yourselves in rich food.”
Spiritually, we are broke. We may think we have money, but it’s no good. It’s like trying to pay for a car with Monopoly money. Our money is no good at the store of blessings from the Lord. We can walk up to the counter with our delicious fruit and try to pay what it costs, but it won’t do us any good. Not only would we never have enough to cover the price, but our money is simply the wrong currency.
Our good works get us nowhere. We can work and work and work and believe that we are saving up for eternity, but in reality, our works are stained and tarnished by sin. We are born sinful, and we are infected to our core. Even our “good works” are simply an extension of our selfishness. There is a price to pay for that perfect, beautiful fruit, but we could never pay that price.
But there is hope. There is so much hope – it is abundant and alive! Because God looked on us and saw that we were broken. He knew long before the fall of man that humans would need a savior. He demands perfection and because we cannot measure up, He sent His Son, Jesus, to pay the price. That price was death, paid for by way of Jesus’ blood, and secured by His resurrection.
God provided a substitute that He knew could and would pay the price for our eternal salvation. He did this out of love for us, even while we were in a state where we could never love Him back. God gives us the ability to love Him and to love others the way He loves us – selflessly, unconditionally, and recklessly.
Our works will never pay the price it took to redeem us. All our labor is in vain. We will be buying something, but it isn’t eternal life. We may think that our hard work is earning us good fruit, but in reality it’s rotten and useless.
God provides rich blessings, both here on this earth and in eternal life after. And He does this at no cost to us. It is already paid for, two thousand years ago upon a wooden cross. It is free for you to accept and He readily gives it to you. The only response He requires from us is the belief that we need a savior and that that Savior is Jesus Christ.
So which will it be: the rotten fruit of eternal separation from God, or the pure and perfect fruit of eternal life with Him?