The Real Value of Humanity
The modern concept of value is often rooted in academic qualifications and financial standing. In addition to these, our social circle is also considered. But the Bible presents a more radical means of determining our value. In Psalms, the bible had early declared that money is not able to buy the most precious thing that a person should have; eternal life. “They that trust in their wealth, and boast themselves in the multitude of their riches; none of them can by any means redeem his brother, nor give to God a ransom for him: that he should still live forever, and not see corruption” (Psalm 49:6-7, 9 KJV).
The Bible thus presents that the value of eternal life cannot be measured with the wealth of the world or any other worldly value system. The Lord had previously indicated that only life could measure the value of life. This means that the only method of determining the value of life is by comparing it with the life that was accepted for it.
Valued with Animals
The sanctuary system of ancient Israel had a graded sacrificial system. The most expensive sacrifice requested was that of the bullock, then the lamb, then birds and lastly for those unable to bring live animals there was the meal offering. This interesting fact often escapes persons; that the provision for a sin offering ensured that every person in Israel had the opportunity to offer a sacrifice no matter how poor they were. Many persons have used this to say that this means the value of persons in the Old Covenant were low, however, closer inspection reveals that this one person had to do multiple sacrifices, and this means that a single animal was not to be used as the value assigned to a person.
The fact that the sanctuary was made a pattern of things in the heavens (Exodus 25:8, 40) it means that the sacrifices, in fact, pointed to a more perfect sacrifice. This is constantly hinted at in scripture, especially Psalms 50. God declares that the sacrifices offered to Him are not used for feeding Him, in contrast to the heathen belief that the sacrifices fed their gods. Here God is making it clear that it is not animals he desires as much as the person. Hence God calls us to love Him with our everything (cf. Deuteronomy 6:5-6).
The gospels present us with one who fulfilled the sacrificial types of the sanctuary by dying as a substitute. His death was a fulfilment of the prophecy found in Isaiah 53 that presents that One would be led as a lamb to the slaughter and die for our transgressions. This is in line with the teaching of Psalm 49:8 that tells us “the ransom for a life is costly, no payment is ever enough” (NIV). It is this thought that Peter takes up in his first epistle when he speaks of the fact that when are not saved by worldly valuables but with “the precious blood of Christ” (1 Peter 1:19).
Christ was not merely a man. John reveals to us that it was the one who created all things that “became flesh and dwelt among us” (John 1:14). This means that the life that was given for our life was not merely the life of man but the life of the “only begotten Son” of God. Herein lies our true value. Hence Paul says, “you are bought with a price.” No one can fight the price tag placed on them by a third party, especially when it is the price tag that our creator placed on us. Let the thought sink in for a moment, your life is valued with the Son of God.
By Rory Hall