Nothing is free
The systems of government has us that much
This is, basically, true. Nothing is totally free, in this world, by it’s systems and requirements. Spiritually, also, things aren’t totally free because as human beings we fail the rules. Give us a rule and we will fail to meet it. Give a statue and we’ll miss the mark.
Some might say, “I follow the rules perfectly.” As long as the rules are adequately described to you and they don’t suddenly change out from under your feet. But we live in a world constantly being “perfected.” And so, good luck keeping up with all the better rules designed by people to lead to peace, as long as you can keep up: “Don’t fall or we’ll punish you. And, it’ll be validated by the crowd because we totally sent a memo. Be available to receive the next memo. Keep up or we’ll take our pound of flesh,” says the smiling face.
Even, to gain an audience with God, the Israelites had plenty to do in order to be cleansed, i.e. forgiven, and free of sickness causing bacteria in order to enter the presence of the Lord. And, still their was a shield of priests because the layman couldn’t accomplish all that was required to be clean enough. So, the priests remained clean so that the working class could, still, pray to God and be heard. Lots of exchange, it seems, in the form of tithes and guilt or sin offerings. And that’s in the rare times Israel had a righteous priest that didn’t extort more than what God had asked from the people.
So, it’s suddenly free when it never was before? Let’s think about word “restore.”
the English definition:
1. (v. t.) To bring back to its former state; to bring back from a state of ruin, decay, disease, or the like; to repair; to renew; to recover.
2. (v. t.) To give or bring back, as that which has been lost., or taken away; to bring back to the owner; to replace.
3. (v. t.) To renew; to reestablish; as, to restore harmony among those who are variance.
4. (v. t.) To give in place of, or as satisfaction for.
5. (v. t.) To make good; to make amends for.
6. (v. t.) To bring back from a state of injury or decay, or from a changed condition; as, to restore a painting, statue, etc.
7. (v. t.) To form a picture or model of, as of something lost or mutilated; as, to restore a ruined building, city, or the like.
Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary
How can you not love the word “restore?” That is a delicious word. The Hebrew has many words that translate to the English word “restore.” Some of them are:
Azab – to repair
Chalam – to be heathy or strong
Chayah – to live
Shazam – to be complete or sound
Strong’s Hebrew Lexicon, provided by Biblehub.com
The question becomes, “What is God restoring the world back to?” Before the failure of Adam and Eve was their need for sacrifice, tithes, and atonements? No.
Originally, life was given to mankind freely. And they experienced unencumbered relationship with God: pouring out of his love on them, teaching them, sustain their lives, sustaining their children’s lives.
So, when God speaks of restoring the world to himself, it would seem likely that he means to restore the world to a time prior to the need for atonement.
Again, what does it cost?
A single life of infinite value: God’s son.
And now, we can enter into true restoration to God without the continuation of payments along the way. Get your rejoice on!