It happened this past month to me. I was reading an article in a Christian publication and I said to myself, "I should have thought of that". I have previously boasted of my education in economics and in Bible - an unusual combination. But I was reading this article that takes a simple, well-known principle of economics and applies it to the cross of Christ. So at the risk of plagiarizing, I will essentially repeat what I read. I cannot improve on it.
The economic principle is very simple. Things are worth to us what we are willing to pay for them. Sometimes we say that someone "paid too much" for something. We might mean two different things by that. We could mean that they could have gotten it cheaper, or we could mean that in paying the only price they could have paid for the item that they got a bad deal. The latter only means that we do not value it as highly as the person who bought it. It was obviously worth it to them.
Sometimes old paintings go at auctions for millions of dollars. Even if I had that kind of money, I would not pay anywhere near that much. I do not value them that highly, but those who pay apparently think they are worth it. It's the value they personally place on the painting.
So, how does this relate to the cross? Christ's death on the cross was the price that God paid to redeem us. And He would have paid that same price even if were only you. So that is the value that God has put on you. You are worth the price that Jesus paid to get you. That is what you were worth to God.
Think of the Parable of the Pearl of Great Price. The merchant sold all that he had to obtain that pearl. To me, no pearl would be worth that much. The merchant, however, knew what it was really worth. it was worth - everything.
We are created in the image of God, so we are worth the price that Jesus paid to get us. He values His image that much. Our problem is that we do not think that we were worth it, but we were.
Sometimes I watch these car shows where they buy some old junker so that they can fix it up and sell it. I wouldn't pay five dollars for those old rust buckets. They are so marred and corroded that they are just trash to me. They see it differently than I do. They see what it was and what it can be again. They fix it and make it better than new. They restore it.
God is in the restoration business. He is the best at it. If we allow Him, He will make us better than new. But I also want us to remember that "while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us". (Romans 5:8) That means that he valued us so highly before we were even restored. We mean everything to Him. He means everything to us.