There’s a great invitation in Isaiah 55.
Come everyone who thirsts, come to the waters; and he who has no money, come, buy and eat! Come, buy wine and milk, without money and without price. (v1)
It has all the hallmarks of a great free banquet (always an attractive prospect!). Similar words are used by Jesus when he stood up in the temple and called “If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink” (Jn 7:37). Ultimately it points us forward to the wonderful heavenly banquet when Jesus returns and the new creation is ushered in.
But the notion of buying something without payment is a curious one. Why doesn’t he just say that it’s free? Why retain the concept of buying when there is no price to pay?
It’s because, even though there’s no payment to be made, the banquet doesn’t come free. It’s a very lavish and expensive one. There’s a huge cost involved. The price-tag is way beyond our reach. But that doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy it. God himself has paid the price, through the perfect life and sacrificial death of his Son in our place. And because of his endless and unconditional generosity and grace, the invitation is given to come and drink, without money, without price (to us).
What a reason to rejoice and be thankful to our great God and Saviour!