I once read a story about an Indian pearl diver who refused to be convinced by his friend, a foreign missionary, that salvation could be as simple as accepting Jesus as his savior. He believed it should involve sacrifice and great personal cost.
What changed his mind was when he tried to give the missionary the gift of a pearl that had cost his son his life, and he was met with an offer of purchase instead. He was offended that something that he considered priceless could be degraded to a monetary transaction. The missionary was then able to use this circumstance to show that just as the pearl diver could never sell the pearl for any price, so God through His Son Jesus can only offer salvation as a gift, since it cost everything to bring it to us.1
This story reminded me of the one Jesus told of a treasure hunter who found a pearl for sale that was so precious that he ended up selling all his property and possessions so he could buy that one pearl.2 Jesus said this is an illustration of what the kingdom of God is like to those who want to be a part. He wasn’t telling us that we have to pay for it, but rather that we should value it so highly that nothing else can possibly compare to it.
Easter is a good time to reflect on how costly it was for Jesus to pay for our sins by allowing Himself to be beaten, whipped, tortured, and humiliated before finally being hung on the cross and dying so that we could be forgiven for our sins and enter His heavenly kingdom.
While we can never repay the sacrifice that Jesus made for us, it’s worth taking time to think about how we can show our gratitude by loving God and others with all our heart, all our soul, all our mind, and all our strength.3 This means we should be open and ready when opportunity presents itself and also willing to create opportunities to put this into practice. May we all be instruments of God’s love and peace to those in need.