“How much is a soul worth? Is a life sentence too high a price?”
Quick, think of the worst thing you have ever done. Think about how awful it was. How morally corrupt it made you. What would others think if they knew what you did?
Even more importantly, could God still love you? If I got angry and yelled something completely out of line and hurtful, could He forgive that? What about if I physically hurt someone, could He forgive that? What if I caused a car accident while I was looking at my phone, could He forgive that?
The truth is, God (through Jesus) has the ability to forgive any sin. The one who created this world, created you, and created me has more than enough power to forgive any transgression we could dream up.
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. -John 3:16
“Whoever believes in him.” That’s it. There’s no more stipulations. There’s never too much darkness to wash out.
With all this in mind, let’s look at a person named War Machine; a former UFC fighter who legally changed his name from Jon Koppenhaver (though for the remainder of this blog I will use Koppenhaver to refer to him).
A few weeks ago, on March 20, Koppenhaver was convicted on 29 charges in a case where he was found guilty of attempted murder and assault against his former girlfriend. He did some horrible things to her. Things that are too unspeakable to talk about here. She barely survived the incident.
As I saw this headline on ESPN’s website and read the intro, I quickly clicked away from the page and wrote it off as another idiot, tough guy who will justly waste his miserable life away in prison and die alone. I had no time for him and wasn’t going to waste the slightest amount of energy thinking about the story. Then, something truly odd happened.
A couple weeks after the verdict, Koppenhaver released a statement. In the text, he expressed his deep remorse for his actions and the pain he caused (which on its own didn’t seem very noteworthy to me coming from someone recently convicted of a crime). What did catch my eye was that in spite of the dark time he was going through while facing a life sentence (one that he very much deserves), Koppenhaver expressed that he was filled with joy! Not happiness or pleasure, but real, righteous, Godly joy. The type that you could only get from one man.
Reading this, I was reminded of the story of David and Bathsheba. In short, David was up to no good, being out on his roof at night. After seeing Bathsheba bathing, he had her brought to him, and forced her to sleep with him even though David knew she was married. When she became pregnant later on, David tried all kinds of ways to cover up his sin. It eventually ended up with David ordering the murder of her husband, which in turned caused the death of several others as well.
God was furious with David. And because of this, David had a significant number of consequences. His infant child Bathsheba gave birth to died. His family was thrown into turmoil. Generations to come would pay the price for his decision. But even though God handed down those consequences to him, He forgave David.
Then David said to Nathan, “I have sinned against the Lord.” Nathan replied, “The Lord has taken away your sin. You are not going to die. -2 Samuel 12:13
I don’t know Koppenhaver. I’ve never met him. Never watched him fight. I’ve never even heard his voice. I just read these words. And I pray that they’re sincere. Because with all of the sin that is in this story, with all of the gore and pain that is there, God can still pull out beauty.
So, can you sin enough to escape God’s grace? How much is a soul worth? The answer to both of these questions is one simple word. Jesus.
“How much is a soul worth? Is a life sentence too high a price? Not at all, I gladly trade this false life in for the real one to come”
Member of Maple Grove's Digital Campus Team & father of an adorable baby!