When I heard our President express an interest in buying Greenland, I immediately thought of some conversations I have had with friends who have been there to visit. All of them told me two things: It’s beautiful and its expensive. I wondered how much Greenland would cost, if it were made available. Some estimates run in the ½ Trillion range, give or take a few glaciers. I guess we should have purchased it in the 40s when the price tag was around 100 million, though we had other priorities at the time.
I do believe Greeland would be a good purchase. With global warming, the glaciers there are going to continue to melt, producing more land, and exposing vast resources of mineral wealth. We could build a football stadium there and relocate the Minnesota Vikings. I don’t mean to be disrespectful to the people of Minnesota, but we would have to have some sort of team named “The Vikings” on Greenland (though I feel certain some already exist). And we would pay for the purchase somehow. Perhaps with toll roads.
There is actually a Christian hymn about Greenland called, “From Greenland’s Icy Mountains.” It was written by Reginald Heber, who died serving his church in Calcutta, India in 1826. The hymn begins “From Greenland’s icy mountains: From India’s coral strand.” The song is about sharing Christ with the nations and contains the line, “Salvation! Oh, Salvation, The joyful sound proclaim.”
The news outlets have been reacting to our President, who had the audacity to suggest we buy a sovereign country. But it never hurts to ask. Those who make their living in real estate have learned “everyone has their price.” Tossing out ridiculous proposals is one way to get the conversation going to see if a possibility exist.
I am reminded there are two distinct purchase offers presented in scripture. The first comes from Satan, our Adversary. In his temptation of Jesus in the wilderness he offered to give Jesus as much land as He could see. Never mind that Jesus already owned the universe. The price? Jesus would have to bow down and worship Satan. The deal fell flat.
The other offer comes from Christ, who has already paid for our debt of sin on the cross, and invites us to walk with Him in spiritual freedom. The Apostle Paul writes, “You were bought with a price” (1 Corinthians 6:20).
The difference between these offers and the Greenland offer is that we don’t have the luxury of doing nothing. We will either sell our souls or accept the grace of God. There is no in-between. I realize there are those who would refute this truth, claiming there is no such thing as a spiritual realm. Yet, even this is a choice to deny the existence of our Creator and reject His love for us. Those who do so may not believe they have chosen one side over the other, but they have indeed opted for spiritual death.
Salvation in Christ is expensive. It is so expensive we would not be able to pay for it if we were the richest person or nation on earth. A half-trillion dollars wouldn’t begin to purchase one drop of blood that fell from Calvary. The price had to be paid by our Lord, and He offers grace to anyone who is willing to follow Him in faith.
I think about the cost of spiritual things quite often when I weigh the consequences of my sins against the suffering of my Lord. Sin always costs me something, and it has already cost Christ everything. This helps me realize, while I don’t pay for eternal salvation, there is a cost to following Christ. It is the same price tag it cost Him to purchase my soul.
Christ requires everything. My being, my time, my wealth and my talent.
Does this sound a bit extreme? I concur. But I remember Jesus’ question in a conversation with His disciples: “What will a man give in exchange for his soul?” (Matthew 16:26).
I can’t imagine what it would be, but I’ll guarantee you it would be a lot more than the purchase price for Greenland.