I was so blessed a few weeks ago when God began to explain to me the gospel of salvation using the marketing concept of supply vs. demand. Here’s what I learned.
If you know anything about supply vs. demand, you know that whenever the DEMAND for an item increases AND when the SUPPLY of that item decreases, then the COST of that item can increase. Let’s use diabetes for example. So many have and are dying of diabetes. But there is no cure for it. So if the cure were to finally be discovered for diabetes, EVERYONE who has a loved one with diabetes and who has diabetes will want this cure. So without a doubt, the demand for the diabetes cure will be high. (Only when something is highly needed or desired, its demand increases. Conversely, when something is not really wanted or needed, then its demand decreases.) But let’s say that only a limited supply of the diabetes cure is produced. Imagine the prices people would be willing to pay for that diabetes cure! If there are 3 million people suffering from diabetes, and the pharmaceutical company only makes enough of the cure for 1 million people, then people would pay very high prices to be 1 of the lucky 1/3 who gets the cure. When the demand is high and the supply is low, the cost paid will be great.
The demand for salvation is VERY high. Whether we all know it or not, we all need salvation BADLY. If we knew how horrorshow an eternity without Christ would be and how empty a life on earth without Christ is, we would all be demanding a Savior. Every single person whose ever lived since Christ’s sacrifice has been in dire need of salvation. So because EVERYONE needs salvation BADLY, the demand for a Savior is very HIGH. Everyone needs a Savior. Good thing there is ONE readily available to us.
Because salvation is necessary, we ought to be grateful that God has readily supplied us with a Savior. However, there is only ONE Savior so that means that the Savior supply is very LOW. There are not three Saviors you can choose from. There is only One. So because the supply is so low, it shows us something about what the COST of a Savior must have been. When the supply for something is low when the demand for that something is high, then the cost can go up for that something.
For example, Jordan sneakers are always high in demand among African-Americans. When the newest Jordan sneakers are put on the market, Nike only produces a certain number of them. So the cost becomes very high because so many people want a pair for them and their children. There may be 1 million African-American males who want the shoes, but Nike may only produce and supply 500,000 of them. And if you want to be the cool guy on the block, you will pay the high price in order to obtain those shoes. When you become desperate for something, you will be willing to do just about anything for it. Desperation definitely plays a part in how much people will pay for something.
Another popular item today is the Call of Duty video game. I believe the next edition will be Call of Duty 5. So when that video game comes out, let’s just say that there will probably be about 200 million males who want it. But there will not be enough produced to be supplied for each of these persons. So the cost will be high. Jordans and Call of Duty are highly wanted, so they are in demand. And because they are in demand, the makers of these products know that they can get away with charging inflated prices for them. People will wait in long lines wrapped around a building into the wee hours of the morning sleeping in tents in freezing weather for these items. That’s how wanted they are for many men today.
When something is highly desired/needed by a large number of people, the supplier can charge exorbitant prices for that item especially if they don’t make enough of them for each person. When people are DESPERATE for something, they will pay high prices for it. The same goes for cures and treatments of catastrophic illnesses. If you or a loved one has cancer, you will pay almost anything to have the cure for it. If you are desperate to fit in, you will pay whatever for those Jordans. If you are desperate to live, you will pay whatever for that cancer treatment.
An interesting thing about Supply is that when there is TOO much of something available, people are usually not going to pay much or anything for it because they will not APPRECIATE it. Just think about it. If there were 10 billion Saviors in existence on earth today, how much would you appreciate a single one of them? If you got mad at one Savior, you could just go off on him and find another to your liking. But if there’s just ONE Savior, you appreciate Him for taking on the huge responsibility of saving billions. For example, a man who is surrounded with easily access to free sex with any beautiful woman he wants will soon lose appreciation for the beautiful gift of sex and women. But if he only gets to have sex with one woman his whole life, he will appreciate her. If you want people to truly appreciate something, you have to make sure they have limited access to it. That’s why monogamous marriages are so precious. God knew that in order for us to truly appreciate something, we must have a few or just ONE of that something. Calvinists – who believe that precious salvation was only supplied to a limited amount of people who were chosen from before the foundation of the world – will agree with this because they feel that because God was so kind as to have bestowed this very needed gift on them makes it more precious. How precious would you feel if the world’s most demanded shoes were only supplied for you? Or if the video game that EVERYONE wanted was only in your home. Or if the cure for Alzheimer’s was only available to you? You would appreciate it so much more. I’m not a Calvinist, but this would fit into their ideology.
Now, let’s move on to the third factor of this dynamic which is COST. The cost of something is very closely dependent upon what something is worth. You cannot charge $50 for a crumb you found on the floor because crumbs have no value. There are instances where people will pay inordinate amounts of money for things with no value. For example, you may not pay $100 for a used napkin. But if you are told that it was the same napkin that Elvis wiped his sweaty brow with while performing on stage, you may pay for it because it has intrinsic value. But for the sake of keeping things simple and for writing this note, let’s say that there are things that generally have little to no value and that there are things that have much value. So as I was saying, crumbs and napkins are near worthless. So because they have little worth, they are free.
But let’s think of Jesus the Christ. The demand for Him IS very high. (Notice how I said “IS” high and not “WAS” high.) The demand for Jesus Christ as our Savior is very high still today. The demand is high partly because hell is so horrible. It’s high partly because hell lasts too long to be as horrible as it’s going to be. It’s high partly because our sin debt was so great that we could never pay it off without a Savior. It’s high partly because God chose to supply us with only ONE Savior.
And since God only chose to supply us with ONE Savior, it helps us to appreciate Jesus the more. Since the supply was so low, the cost went up. And can we not all agree that Jesus was the greatest sacrifice? He cost so much. Remember that He was also God’s ONLY begotten Son. And only a Son of God could be the Savior; and there was only One God Son so it cost God so much because it was His ONLY Son. So because he was the ONLY Savior. So His worth and cost should be of much value to us. I believe that once some people fully grasp that Jesus was the ONLY worthy sacrifice, they will appreciate Him and His gift of salvation much more. Because some people still believe that good works and self-righteousness are their Saviors, they don’t appreciate that Jesus is the only Savior. But once you realize that the ONLY reason you’re getting into heaven is because of Jesus Christ’s sacrifice, you will bow down and worship Him. When you realize that the ONLY person who could save you from damnation decided to go ahead and take on the task, you will be changed.
It’s hard for us to put a price tag on this Ultimate Sacrifice. A song goes, “I’ll never know how much it cost to see my sins upon the Cross.” How true! We know the demand was high and we know the supply was low, but we STILL cannot figure precisely how many millions, billions, or trillions of dollars to put on the price of Salvation. I say that is because it is priceless. How much could your worst enemy pay you to let them sacrifice your beloved, innocent son on a Cross? Unless you are a wicked parent, there would be no amount that they could pay you to do that to you and your child.
This leads me to another factor that I had not previously thought of. LOVE. When you think of how much Jesus “cost” God, it shows you an INKLING of how much God values us! Jesus was the most important thing to God, and yet He gave Him up for us. What love God showed to us when He gave His beloved Son to die for us! Remember when I gave the example of a napkin that is worthless? Well that’s how I feel about our worth to God. I don’t see why God values us. But He paid a high price for something that is worthless. But as I said with the Elvis Presley napkin, a lover of Elvis would pay much money for that napkin. There is something about us that God values. I have not been able to put my finger on it, but there is something about us. I guess it would be like how a parent values their children even though their children cannot do much for them. Children can’t get insurance policies on them because they are unable to produce much of value. But an adult can have a $500,000 insurance policy in the event of his death to give to his wife. But yet children are still considered very valuable to their parents.
The bible verses below show us that God’s love for us moved Him enough for Him to pay a large price to save us.
1 John 4:9 – “In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him.”
1 John 4:10 – “Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.”
1 John 3:1 – “See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are.”
John 3:16 – “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.”
1 John 3:16 – “By this we know love, that he laid down his life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers.”
John 15:13 – “Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.”
If your love for someone does not cost you anything, you might need to question your love. If your love for your husband does not move you to give up your boyfriends, then you don’t love him. If your love for your children does not move you to stop hanging out all night so that you can spend quality time with them, then you don’t love them as much as you could be. If your love for people doesn’t move you to fast and pray for them, then you may need to question your love. Love costs something. Imagine if John 3:16 read, “For God SO loved the world, that He refused to give up His only begotten that whosoever could have believed in Him still ended up in eternal damnation.” If it read thusly, we would seriously reconsider God’s love for the world. If your love someone leaves them in the same damned state that they were in before they met you, then your love isn’t worth having.
So show appreciation to the great price Jesus paid to save our sin-sick souls. The demand was H I G H (- we all needed a Savior). The supply was L O W (- there was only One Savior provided for us). And so the cost was H I G H (- Jesus’ death on the Cross was the most priceless “transaction” that will ever have taken place in the history and future of the universe.) Which means God’s love for us was G R E A T (- God paid an expensive price for ungrateful people.)