Jesus paid it all

Recently I was at a restaurant enjoying lunch with three new friends. We waved at a man from our Sunday School class who came in while we were eating. Later, our server told us that he had picked up the check for the whole table. His gift made us feel grateful and gifted by his kindness.

Tomorrow is Maundy Thursday which, for me, has always been the most holy and profound day of the Easter season. That is the day Jesus sat with his disciples for the last time, before he gave his life for theirs. Jesus was gifting their lives that day, only they couldn’t yet comprehend all that he was doing. 

Later, Judas would be devastated to the point of suicide for his betrayal of Jesus. 

Peter would be shamed and grieved when he heard the rooster crow the next morning. 

John would sit at the foot of the cross with Mary, and both were likely grieved with thoughts of “What could I have done to stop this?” 

Earlier in the upper room, Jesus had washed the feet of his disciples as yet another way to say, “I would do anything for you because I love you with God’s great and perfect love.” 

Jesus was born to die, and on Good Friday he “paid it all.” 

“Jesus Paid it All”

Churches would often sing the hymn “Jesus Paid it All” as an invitation for those worshiping in the congregation to come profess their faith in Christ. Others would join the church or simply use that time as a reminder of the sacrifice Jesus made. For some, the King James vocabulary or simplicity of the music might keep them from experiencing the profound truth of the lyrics. 

I have included a link to one of my favorite versions of the great hymn. I’ve been blessed to see Fernando Ortega lead worship many times. He sits at the piano and shares his gift of music with people. He isn’t there to perform. He is there to help those listening experience the Lord’s presence and power through worship. 

I hope you will pause, turn off all distractions, and spend some time immersed in this version of that great hymn.  

Jesus Paid it All answers the question, “Why Easter?”

I wish you a happy and holy Easter 

I will enjoy all the moments of Easter Sunday. I love the crowds in church, the smiles, the spring flowers, and the new Easter clothes—especially the new clothes on the children that day. If ever there was a time for ruffles and patent leather shoes, it’s Easter Sunday.  

The music proclaims the joy of Jesus’ resurrection and the hope that is ours in Christ. The tomb was empty and proved Jesus has power over earthly death and the ability to provide eternal life. We all love the celebration of Easter, but it’s so important not to miss the holy purpose of the day. 

Jesus came to save souls and make disciples of all nations. Easter isn’t Easter unless we understand the entire purpose of Christ’s life.  

Who will come for an Easter service this year and meet Christ? 

There will be several in your church this Sunday

Some interesting facts from my husband Jim’s Lenten message this week: 

  • 63 percent of Americans say that they are Christians. 
  • 81 percent of Americans say they will celebrate Easter. 
  • 43 percent of our population is planning to attend an Easter service at church. 

Jim’s point: The difference between those who say they are Christians and the number who will celebrate the holiday means many millions of people are celebrating a holiday they don’t truly understand. 

The pews this Sunday 

Jesus was about to raise Lazarus from the dead. He told Lazarus’ sister Martha, “‘I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?’ She said to him, ‘Yes, Lord; I believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God, who is coming into the world’” (John 11:25–27). 

It is safe to say that several people will be in your church this Sunday who will come to celebrate Easter and who identify themselves as “Christian.” It is likely that many of them may not understand what is necessary to actually become a Christian. They have never said to Jesus, “Yes, Lord, I believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God, and I know I need you to forgive my sins, and, as the old hymn states, I trust you can ‘wash me white as snow.’” 

I like to look for those people on Easter Sunday. I like to pray specifically for the uneasy, unfamiliar, and sometimes uninvolved. Easter is an important Sunday. If we will pray, speak to, invite, and encourage people, we might get to enjoy seeing God change their lives before the next Easter Sunday.  

Easter is a powerful day of important truth. Jesus didn’t die so that one day we could enjoy our eternal life. Jesus died so that we would enjoy our eternal life from the moment of our salvation. Christians live each day knowing they will never die. We just stop breathing on earth one moment and start breathing in heaven’s air the next. That’s what it means to place our hope in Christ. 


Jesus paid it all—and we can live with eternal gratitude 

Maundy Thursday is my moment each Easter season. I like to dwell on those upper room words of Jesus and the garden moments spent in prayer for and with his disciples. You might want to spend some time reading about the Easter moments from John chapters 12–20. John was the beloved disciple, and his words reveal the heart of Easter through the disciple who loved Jesus, stood by him, and spent his entire life serving him. 

Take a few moments to listen again to the holy purpose of Easter through Fernando Ortega’s version of “Jesus Paid it All.”  

Easter is summed up in the words of that hymn: “Jesus paid it all. All to him I owe. Sin had left a crimson stain; he washed it white as snow.” 

I pray you will have a happy and holy Easter Sunday because you have had a holy and profound Maundy Thursday. 

Let’s live as blessed Christians, enjoying our certain hope of heaven today. We serve Jesus because he has served all of us. He paid it all. Now, we owe him our all. 

May your Easter be filled with joy and purpose as you worship the One who paid it all.