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Thought for the weekend


By Rev Craig Cooney

In August our family enjoyed two weeks in Portugal at an all-inclusive hotel. Our little boy Elijah, who was six at the time, had never experienced an all-inclusive holiday before.

For the first few days, he kept asking how much an ice-cream would cost or he would have a slightly worried expression on his face when we left the restaurant without paying. He thought we were doing a 'runner'!

I eventually sat him down and explained that for the next two weeks we wouldn't have to pay for anything.

With wide eyes, he asked: "So daddy, this is all free?"

"Not exactly son," I responded. "I paid for it all before we got here. So, it's all been covered."

When Jesus died on the cross, it was 'all-inclusive'. Every sin - past, present and future - was completely and fully paid for at Calvary.

The writer to the Hebrews put it like this: "…we have been made holy through the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ once for all" (10:10).

In the Old Testament, sacrifices for sin had to be repeatedly offered by the priests on behalf of the people.

Not so with the sacrifice of God's son. His death was all-inclusive.

It was once and for all. There is no sin so vile or misdeed so evil that Jesus will ever have to return to the cross to pay for it.

Or as the old Anglican Book of Common Prayer says, it was "a full, perfect and sufficient sacrifice, oblation and satisfaction for the sins of the whole world…"

Forgiveness of sins and a relationship with God are freely available to every single person. However, all of this didn't come without a price. It cost Jesus everything.

I could never pay the bill myself, so it's been fully paid by another.

Just as my little boy enjoyed all the blessings and benefits of our holiday because of his relationship with me, so we too can lavish in the love of God and enjoy abundant life through a relationship with Jesus.

I don't want to ever take that for granted.

Every time I sin, fail and mess things up, I'm so thankful that the all-inclusive sacrifice of Jesus has paid for it already.

It's all been covered.

Belfast Telegraph


From Belfast Telegraph