Summary: Easter message. The price Christ paid for our salvation; our worth due to that price.
YOU ARE WORTH MORE THAN A HARLEY
The following story comes from Ron Mehl’s excellent book, Meeting God At a Dead End. Bob loved garage sales. He was just getting ready to leave his last one for the day when he saw something that caught his eye. It was partially hidden underneath a tablecloth and an old comforter. Nevertheless, the shape was unmistakable, it was a motorcycle. As he lifted the covers, he could immediately tell that it was an old Harley.
Obviously it wasn’t part of the garage sale, and that piqued Bob’s interest. “Is the bike for sale?” he asked the homeowner.
The man shrugged. “Well... don’t rightly see why not. The wife says it’s all got to go. But I’ll warn ya. That bike hasn’t run since I’ve had it. Motor’s sized up. Won’t turn over. Could probably buy yourself a new one with what it would cost to fix up that old thing.
Bob nodded patiently. “All the same, how much do you want for it?”
“I’m sure they’d give me thirty-five bucks for the metal at the scrap yard. How does that sound?”
Bob looked at the rusty old heap. What would his wife say if he brought it home? But still... to a practiced eye, it had potential. Even if it didn’t run, he could get it shined up as a conversation piece. And he could surely sell it again for more that thirty-five dollars. Parts alone would be worth more than that.
“Okay,” he said, “I’ll take it. Can I pick it up tomorrow?”
Shortly thereafter the old Harley was occupying space in Bob’s garage. After a few weeks of procrastinating, he finally got around to calling Harley-Davidson, just to see what a few of the major parts for restoration would run him. He corrected with someone on the parts line and asked a few questions.
“Why don’t you give me the serial number,” the dealer said.
Bob gave him the number.
“Hold on just a second while I look it up.”
Bob waited on hold, listening to a sixties rock station piped into the receiver.
After what seemed an inordinately long time, the parts man returned to the line. Somehow this time though, his voice seemed to be a little different. Strange. Self-conscious. Like something was up.
“Uh, sir...I’m going to have to call you back, okay? Could I get your full name, address, and phone number, please?”
Why does he need my name and address? Bob wondered. But then again, what was the harm? It was no big deal. He’d probably end up on some motorcycle mailing list. Bob gave the man what he wanted and hung up.
After a few minutes, however, he found himself getting nervous. He regretted giving information about himself over the phone. What if the bike had been involved in a crime of some sort? What if drugs were involved -- or murder? What if the bike was stolen? Was he in danger of prosecution? Maybe the police were already on their way -- or a Hell’s Angel, ready to reclaim his bike and rearrange Bob’s face.
Bob sweated for a couple of days without hearing back from Harley. But just as his worries were beginning to subside, the phone rang. This time, however, it wasn’t the parts man; Bob found himself talking to a Harley executive. The man seemed overly friendly, making Bob feel even more uneasy.
“Listen, Bob, this is important” the man said. “I want you to do something for me, okay?”
“Umm. Well, I guess.”
“Bob, I want you just to set the receiver down -- don’t hand up....”
We’ll come back to this story in a few minutes.
WHAT ARE YOU WORTH? If you were up for auction, what would some knowledgeable person pay for you? As luck would have it, we have the answer to that question. 1 Corinthians 7:23 (The New Living Translation) tells us that “God purchased you at a high price….” For the next few minutes, I want us to look at the price that He paid for you and me.
1. HE GAVE HIS LOVE; HIS GREAT AND AWESOME LOVE
John 15:13 declares, “Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.” The Amplified Bible says it this way, “No one has greater love -- no one has shown stronger affection -- than to lay down (give up) his own life for his friends.”
Think of the phrase, “No greater love....” That is the measure that God Himself set.
• Ellen Goodman is a newspaper columnist. A while back she noted that this is the “love carefully era.”
• Moishe Rosen, formerly of Jews For Jesus, once noted: “I have an imaginary Rosen Poll that I conduct every once in a while to “prove notions for which there is no factual information. My latest Rosen Public Opinion Poll on love found that 92% of the population would rather receive love than give it; 7% were uncertain; and 1% said that they gave at the office.”