Who Do We Owe?

Do you owe the IRS taxes next week? Do you owe a financial institution for your home? Do you owe a doctor for his corrective surgery? They may have all done something for which you are indebted to them.

But, we just sang, “Jesus paid it all, all to him I owe, sin had left a crimson stain, he washed it white as snow.” What is this “all” that I owe Him? Rather than just sing about it, let’s see if we understand what we owe Him for… and what Jesus has paid for us.

The prophet Isaiah says, “All we (everyone of us) like sheep have gone astray; we have turned—every one—to his own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all (Isaiah 53:6).”

First, we have turned—every one — to his/her own way. We give little or no thought that we owe God for the penalty of turning to our own way through… pride and frustration and anger and selfishness and impatience and sins from our speech and judgmentalism and lack of self control and unthankfulness and discontentment.

When I recognize I have turned to my own way and am dead in these offenses, who do I go to plead my case to before a holy, perfect God? The apostle John clarifies, “… if anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. (1 John 2:1b).” And, the Father, the LORD has laid on him (this same advocate) the iniquity of us all.

Where, when, how were these sin paid for?… The Apostle Paul tells us that by trusting in Jesus…“… you, who were dead in your trespasses… God (the Father) made alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses, by canceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This he (the Father) set aside, nailing it to the cross (Col. 2:13-14).”

So, what do you and I owe to the Father that was paid for by the Son? Everything.

This advocate, the Lord Jesus, anticipating this action to absorb the Father’s wrath for our turning to our own way, took bread, and after giving thanks, he broke it and said, “This is my body which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” In the same way also Jesus took the cup, after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.”


Father, let it sink in that the penalty we owed was laid on Jesus. May we see the imprint of your Son’s bleeding body upon the tablets of our heart all day long. Then at nightfall may we proclaim “through the love of God our Savior, all will be well.” Amen.
– A Communion Meditation from Pastor Jim