Do you remember the 90’s McCain Chips advert, when on the school bus a little girl asks her younger sister Sophie which she prefers, Daddy or chips? She considered the question all day, and concluded in the evening that she prefers chips after her father very cheekily plucked a chip off of her fork. It became a very well-known advert and gave parents across the nation banter for years as Dads suddenly became subordinate to chips.
As a child, I certainly remember the other children talking about the advert and quoting it in school. The conversations would often lead to us comparing our favourite foods to anyone we could think of; our teachers, movie/sports stars, family members and friends. I still find myself doing it today. On occasion, I will jokingly tell my wife I love her more than an Indian curry, a Dominos pizza or a Chinese takeaway (as if it’s supposed to flatter her).
It’s all meant to be done and said in good humour of course – there’s no way a meal of any sort could be more valuable than another human soul, even if you would prefer to spend an hour eating your favourite meal than spend an hour with in the company of your arch-enemy. The Bible says that every human being is valuable and made in the “image of God” (Genesis 1:17). That is, we are made to reflect the character and nature of God.
However, the Bible also says that because of the sin, rebellion and folly of every human being, we are flawed. We have “fallen short of the glory of God” the Bible says (Romans 3:23). In other words, we have fallen short of God’s expectation. Although we are not as bad as we could be, we still are not good, pure or holy enough to enjoy a vibrant relationship with the almighty, perfect and sinless God. Humanity is totally depraved and “dead” in their sins (Ephesians 2:1). No human being could ever undo their sin or impress God in such a way that would entice God to forgive a person of their sin by their own merit.
Humanity needs God to intervene and to redeem us (to buy us back). But to buy us back and to have a united relationship with him, someone must pay a price – a price that is sufficient to cover the cost of sinful humanity. The cost of sin is death, punishment and eternal separation from God (Romans 6:23). So, Jesus Christ, the Son of God intervened and came on a mission to the world. Philippians 2:6-8 says that Christ humbled himself by becoming a man, yet still maintaining his divinity. Christ was sinless and perfect in every way, thereby being the only person who could justly pay the penalty for sin. Jesus willingly suffered death on the cross and bore the wrath of God the Father in our place and setting us free from sin. Christ was victorious in his resurrection from the grave and now reigns in Heaven and in the hearts of those who by faith believe in him and the Gospel. Those who trust in Jesus and ask God for the forgiveness of sins will inherit eternal life and salvation.
It is understandable why I would love my wife more than Dominos pizza because she is far more valuable. It makes sense that in all seriousness, children really do love their fathers more than chips. On the other hand, I can’t understand why Jesus would love us more than his own life in that he willingly laid it down to set us free. The Bible calls it grace (unmerited favour) and lavished love (Ephesians 2:4-5). This is the character and nature and God. He is just and must punish sin, but he is loving and has mercy on those who by faith seek him and trust that Christ is the only way to be saved, redeemed and to have a reconciled relationship with God.