Lionel Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo? Which one is the better footballer? Depending on who you speak to you’ll get a different answer. Personally, I don’t care. They’re both amazing talents and we’re blessed to have witnessed both on a football field. You may not care because football is of no interest to you whatsoever. That’s ok, but even if you’re not interested I’ll bet you’ve heard of them.

Lionel Messi has spent his entire career at Barcelona, but has now decided to leave. Barcelona are demanding that if any team wants him they have to pay a buyout clause of £627 million. Reports are suggesting that Manchester City are prepared to pay Messi £450 million to join them. These are huge amount of money.

Bear with me while I mention one more number, 33. That’s Lionel Messi’s age, an age at which a team may have to spend a fortune to get him. It’s also the age at which Jesus died. How much is Jesus worth? If Messi is worth £167 million then Jesus should be priceless, and yet he was sold out for 30 pieces of silver. Do you know how much 30 pieces of silver is worth today? A good guess is about £450. At the age of 33 Messi is worth £167 million and Jesus was worth £450. Doesn’t seem right does it?

In case you don’t know, let me explain what I mean by Jesus being sold out. There were a group of men who walked closely with Jesus. There were 12 of them and they are known as the Apostles. Among them were famous names like Peter, James and John. There was one we unfairly call Doubting Thomas, and one called Judas Iscariot. Despite his close walk with Jesus, Judas Iscariot never believed like the other Apostles did. He was a thief, stealing money that should have been used for the poor, and one night he left Jesus and the other Apostles in a room, while he went to the Jewish leaders and betrayed him. The price of his betrayal in today’s money was £450.

Let’s check these figures one more time. £167 million for a brilliant footballer, £450 for the Son of God. That was the figure placed on Jesus, the figure Judas and the Jewish leaders agreed upon. It was a small price they paid in order to arrest Jesus and have him crucified. There’s a Bible verse that speaks of “the unsearchable riches of Christ”. (1) His worth is beyond measure but £450 was all that was required by Judas.

The Jewish leaders paid a price, but so did Jesus. It was the price that was required to set us free from sin. Have you ever considered how much you are worth? Well, now is the time to do so. £10, £50, £1000, £50,000, £1,000,000? The price Jesus was willing to pay for us was his life. To set us free from sin he willingly went to a place called Calvary, just outside the walls of Jerusalem, where he was crucified. While being crucified, he was being punished for our sins so that we don’t have to be. He took them all and suffered so much agony in order to free us. That’s how much you are worth.

Reflect on these words of a Christian song.

If you heard that your life had been valued
That a price had been paid on the nail
Would you ask what was traded,
How much and who paid it
Who was He and what was His name?

If you heard that His name was called Jesus
Would you say that the price was too dear?
Held to the cross not by nails but by love
It was you broke His heart, not the spear!
Would you say you are worth what it cost Him?
You say ‘no’, but the price stays the same.
If it don’t make you cry, laugh it off, pass Him by,
But just remember the day when you throw it away
That He paid what He thought you were worth.”


Bible Reference:

  • Ephesians 3:8