Sunday April 12, 2020 | Greg Boyd
Or what woman having ten silver coins, if she loses one of them, does not light a lamp, sweep the house, and search carefully until she finds it? When she has found it, she calls together her friends and neighbors, saying, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found the coin that I had lost.’ Just so, I tell you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.”
Love, not death, should have the last word. When you love someone, you come to know how much infinite worth they have. The idea that all that they are just ends with death doesn't seem right. Something in the core of our being says, “NO.” That gut intuition is a faint echo of the heart of God.
Love, not death, should have the last word. When you love someone, you come to know how infinitely worthwhile they are and the idea that all that they are just ends with death does not seem right. If death has the last word, it is a mockery of the preciousness of the life they have led. In today’s world, we feel this clash in an unprecedented way, as body bags stack up and mass graves are filled. It’s hard to comprehend what to do with the value that seems to end up in senseless death.
To think that a loved one would come to nothing more than this feels off. Something in the core of our being says, “NO.” That gut intuition is a faint echo of the heart of God. Jesus tells a parable about the woman and the lost coin which points to the reality that love has the last word.
This woman lights a lamp, sweeps (no windows, dirt floor), and searches UNTIL she finds it. This silver coin, a Denari, equals a day’s wages. 10 Denarii could have been the entire family savings. This justifies the search but not the party. In fact, the cost of the party itself would have exceeded the value of that which she had found. Therefore, there must be something more to this parable.
A Denarii necklace was sometimes given as a dowry gift, representing perfection in Jewish numerology. Such a necklace would have functioned something like an engagement ring does today. This lost coin is no ordinary coin. It’s not about the economic value, but about the value it has for her. It has no meaning to others, but to this desperate peasant widow, it is priceless, irreplaceable! This is the reason she cannot stop until she finds it. And it’s why she throws a party.
This parable is teaching us that this is how God feels about us, regardless of what kind of sinner we are. He models this, when he offered up his own life on our behalf. Your value is not determined by ordinary social currency. Nothing could be more irrelevant than what others think about your value. The only question is, what does your Creator think of you? He answered in an unambiguous way on Calvary, when he offered up His life on our behalf to free us from the clutches of sin and Satan.
In Acts 2:22-27, we read about the crucifixion and the resurrection of Christ, about His death, and the power that rose Him from the dead. The passage states that it was impossible for Jesus to be held in the power of death. This was impossible because love has the last word, because God has the last word. While death appears to rule the day, such is not the ultimate reality. It is impossible for death to have the last word because of the perfect love of the Father for the Son.
By extension, because we are “in Christ,” we are loved with the same love offered by the Father to Jesus. We share in the impossibility that rose Christ from the dead. Therefore, we can trust the loving character of the Father as demonstrated by Christ, and we can walk in the love that God has for us. The question we face is whether and how will we align ourselves with God’s love.