With the exception of an ill-advised decision to drive around the high school track when I was 16 and a few random speeding tickets, I’m fortunate to have had very few scrapes with the law. Yes, the track thing was here in Enumclaw and led to a scrape with the law and with my father. There is probably an archived police blotter somewhere with my name on it.
One time after getting my first speeding ticket I was so bothered that my perfect record was now going to be stained and ruined forever I decided to contest it. I knew I was guilty…for sure I was guilty. However, I was hoping and praying that somehow I could have the ticket dismissed and not be imputed against me. In order to contest it I had to say I was not guilty, but I was. So I chose to go to a court-appointed mediator to plead my case and humbly ask for mercy. Oh, how naïve.
The mediator appointed to my case seemed nice enough, but I could sense that they had heard every excuse in the book, so I decided to make no excuses…I was guilty. I was just there for mercy…for a clean slate. The mediator calmly explained to me that since I admitted my guilt, the best they could do for me was to lower my ticket to $25, but it would still be on my record. Apparently this court-appointed mediator did not have the authority to override my confession of guilt with a record of innocence. Booo….
We know through scripture and indeed by our own conscience that all of us have faults and sin and that we all fall short of the glory or the high standard of God required to be holy and righteous. No matter how hard we try, we all sin and we all fail. I’m amazed at my many failures. I could never string together enough good years or even days to be seen as righteous or to justify myself before the Great Judge. But God…who is rich in mercy, because of his great love for us has saved us by his grace through faith in Jesus Christ. He has bestowed on all believers the free gift of righteousness and salvation, not because we earned it, but because Jesus paid the full penalty for us by shedding his blood on Calvary and dying for our sins and faults. He even bore our guilt and the shame that comes with sin. When he rose from the dead he forever conquered death and sin. Now we who put our faith in him are forever justified before God. Christ has become our righteousness and we have peace with God the father!
In 1 Timothy 2:5 the Apostle Paul writes that there is only one mediator between God and man and that is Jesus Christ. But Jesus is a better mediator, superior in every way to any you may have experienced. He stands before the father and instead of negotiating a lighter penalty or reduced sentence, he takes our admissions of guilt and forever absolves us from this guilt and frees us forever from judgment. He provides the father with the proper documents…the word, signed in his blood that forever washes away our guilt and allows us to stand justified, holy and righteous before God. We come to him guilty and he presents us blameless, because that is what love does! Love keeps no record of wrongdoing.
When we sin it is like a scrape with the law. Without God’s grace we would never measure up and we would have to pay the penalty ourselves for our sins. Some fear that the message of God’s amazing grace will be viewed as a license to sin. Not even close. God’s grace is not so we can continue in sin, but so we can continue in righteousness. It is the way he reveals his great love to us. When you know how much God loves you…how completely he loves you, you will fall head over heels in love with him. You will never be separated from God’s love.