“I’ve already paid you triple what I promised. Why won’t you honor your part of the bargain?” I asked beseechingly of this man before me.
“I can’t go on like this. You promised me if I paid your filthy blackmail then you would destroy those filthy pictures. Please!!” I begged, tears starting to come from the corners of my eyes.
“QUIET!!” he shouted, “Look, this hurts me more than it does you.”
“How can it when you are the one gloating over the last of my savings? Please just burn those pictures! I don’t want these hanging over my head anymore. I can’t eat, sleep, or even speak knowing that you still have them. Please stop!” I begged.
It was of no use, though as the young man turned and stalked away but not forgetting to slam the door in my face. I fell down to my knees and began to cry. Didn’t anyone care about me? Did anyone know how it felt to have a huge millstone hanging around their neck just waiting to drag you along into the river? There was only one answer that kept reverberating in my mind; suicide. Oh, what peace that thought gave to me. Then again, why did it feel so wrong? Why did I feel like the blackmail would continue even after my death? There just had to be another way.
I began on my way home when I paper crinkled beneath my feet. I stepped back to see what was on it. I moved to a nearby streetlight to see.
These are the words that greeted my vision: “And by that will, we have been made holy through the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.”
I reread these words paying close attention to the last three. “Once for all.” I knew about God alright and the one they called Jesus Christ. Apparently, because He died on a wooden cross one time, everyone can be saved. What a wishful thought! Why, if that were true, then I wouldn’t have to keep paying this blackmail because it would be already paid for. I stopped and felt a rush of peace in my heart.
I was a Christian once before I turned away. Why did I turn away? Oh yes, now I remember, so I could take those disgusting pictures, so I could be involved with a man who saw me only as a plaything and a vein from which money flowed; so that I could be free?.
I fell to the sidewalk with a loud groan saying, ” Oh God! Forgive me! Redeem me! Heal me! And LORD, do it once and for all!”
I stayed there for a few hours just praying and surrendering. After all, what did I have to lose? I did manage to make it home early that morning only to find the man who blackmailed me standing on my doorstep with the photographs in his hand.
I approached him and asked what he was doing there. He replied, “On my way home, I saw a church sign that said, ‘And by that will, we have been made holy through the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.’ It got me to thinking about you and what I’ve been doing to you, to myself, and most of all, to God.”
With tears streaming down his face, he tore the photographs and told me what made him choose to make this decision.
“I got home and went to look at the photographs only to find that they were empty. There were no pictures. Love does not keep record of wrongs.”
He then pulled out of his pocket all the money I had ever given him and then he walked away knowing that he didn’t need to make me pay for my sins because I couldn’t.
However, because of one sacrifice, Jesus Christ’s sacrifice, one payment was enough; He took care of it all once for all so that we wouldn’t have to. If you are holding onto something for any reason, I hope this verse and this story has encouraged you to let go. We canNOT do this on our own. We need God, so let Him take it all, because He’s already paid it all.