Billions and Billions Served

Have you ever wondered how many people have lived upon the earth? The Population Reference Bureau pegs the number at 108.2 billion. This, of course, contradicts the popular notion that half of the people who ever lived are alive today, but even if this latter narrative were true, our current 7.5 billion population would indicate 15 billion humans have walked this globe at one time or another. Either way, it’s a lot of people.

Is there anything our planet’s entire population has shared in common? Actually, the Bible points out a couple. For one, we have all done wrong. We all know it, too, for our consciences excel at reminding us of our moral shortcomings, not only the ones we express outwardly, but also those we suppress inwardly.

Our sin, then, points us to the second universality, a more profound one: Jesus Christ has borne the brunt of every sin of every sinner of every age. Foretelling Jesus’ life and sacrificial death, Isaiah wrote, “But he was pierced for our rebellion, crushed for our sins. He was beaten so we could be whole. He was whipped so we could be healed. All of us, like sheep, have strayed away. We have left God’s paths to follow our own. Yet the Lord laid on him the sins of us all” (Isaiah 53:5, 6 NLT). Think about this: God himself took on human frame and mortal flesh to assume for us the scorn and punishment that was our due.

Admittedly, Jesus taking my punishment for my wrongs is to some degree an abstraction for me: I cannot completely grasp the magnitude of my wrongness, nor can I imagine the fate from which I have been spared. Instead, my spiritual blinders filter out the full seriousness of my situation. But I believe Jesus fully understood our plight—the cavernous depth of our sin, our immeasurable separation from God, and the wrath that awaited. He was unfiltered in understanding and oblivious to nothing, fully aware. Yet He humbled Himself as a servant, anyway, and took our place in punishment, the satisfactory sacrifice for—again—every sin of every sinner of every age. How many might that be? Who knows? It’s like the sign says, “billions and billions served.”

Jesus is worthy of our praise. Jesus is worthy of our life. We serve in His name.

Jesus, you’re awesome. Thank you for paying the price I could not pay. Open my eyes to those around me who long for assurance of your love and their salvation. Amen.

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