Summary: Has it ever occurred to you that everything has some potential value. And this world is full of appraisers who will and who can tell you the value of just about anything
What’s the Real Value of a Human Soul? Luke 23:33-43
Intro: Has it ever occurred to you that everything has some potential value. And this world is full of appraisers who will and who can tell you the value of just about anything.
I was skimming the internet a few weeks ago and I ran across an article on Fox News. Someone had recently discovered the car of my dreams. A 1969 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 428 Cobra Jet….now that is a mouthful to say but it will drop the jaw of almost any real car enthusiasts. This particular garage kept find….. was owned and perfectly preserved by a now-deceased automotive connoisseur. This exceptionally rare car came complete with a four speed manual transmission that only had 8500 actual miles on the vehicle. The spark plugs, belts, fan and hoses were all original and the only change to the car from the time it came out of the factory was the installation of new tires.
Most of you understand that finding a car like this is extremely rare and when this car was purchased in 1969, it cost a $5,425 brand new. Compared to the price of a new car today….this almost seems a bargain. But what is it worth now? This car is going to auction later this month (April 25,2014) and is expecting to bring in excess of the appraisal value of $100,000.
As I said, everything has a value. Did you know that your body has value and that you can even insure your body….piece by piece! The value of your own body parts might even surprise you. Most people recognize that the fingers of a musician, surgeon, artist or craftsman are vital to their fame and fortune. My hands at the piano are not worth much…..But the hands of Billy Joel or Elton John are worth millions. My hands connected to a paintbrush are worthless, but the hands of Picasso holding a paintbrush is priceless. But regardless of what we think our body parts are worth….. according to most insurance companies….the hands of an average person can be worth a lot more than you would ever imagine. Most companies sell insurance as units of coverage -- typically $5,000 to $20,000 per item. But how do we come up with the value of a human body part. Well……I am sure now that is a complicated formula that someone smarter than I needs to figure out.
But do you know, that there is one part of our bodies that you cannot find a value for? One that the average doctor knows is there……. but one that they cannot seem to locate. For most people, “they even know” it is there and yet they have never seen it. What is this part? It is called….”the soul”! And if everything has a value……then my question today is this…….”What is a soul worth?”
Here in our text, the Lord Jesus is preparing to answer that question through the words of a Physician. Luke was not only the writer of this gospel, but Luke was also in the medical profession…..and I am sure that prior to being called into the gospel ministry….he also knew the value of human parts. You see, there are some parts that we can live without and some we could not. I can live without a finger. I can live without an ear, an eye, a foot or even a kidney. But I cannot live without my heart….or my brain…..or even my soul. So if Luke was here today, I would ask this….Luke, even though you are a physician…….Do you know the value of a human soul?
As we come to Chapter 23 in this gospel………..we find the Lord Jesus Christ at a place called Calvary. It was here that we see three crosses on Calvary’s hill. It is here, that we find an innocent man Jesus…… dying in the middle….. between two convicted guilty thieves.
But there is something important about this scene that we all need to see. There is some real difference between these three men.
• I see one thief…….Guilty as can be….dying “in” his sin
• I see the second thief……Guilty as can be…..and he is dying “to” his sin
• And then there is Jesus…….Innocent as can be…….and He is dying “for” all sin
What a contrast there really is between these men……………….can you see that……
• Two are guilty….and the other is innocent
• Two are paying their debt to society……the other is paying OUR DEBT to release us from society
But this story…was long foretold by the prophet Isaiah.
Turn woith me to Isaiah 53:9-10
Here is an innocent man….being condemned between the wicked…..who tomb would eventually be borrowed from a rich man from Arimathea…….a perfect story unfolding……just as Isaiah said it would happen. The Roman soldiers probably intended to bury Jesus with the other thiefs….but this is not what God intended. They may have not even planned to gamble for his garments that day….but this was exactly what God intended. Pilate may have thought that by offering up Barrabas….that Jesus would not have been on that cross….but this is exactly what God had intended….and the Old Testament prophecies were coming true right in front of their own eyes….and the angry crowd was to blind to see it.