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Friday, September 17, 2010

Amazing Grace! How Sweet the Sound

I sat outside the Principal's office on a Monday afternoon. My fourth period teacher would not allow me into class. I had skipped his class the previous Friday. He knew that I had been in school. I played in the football game that night. I had introduced the speaker at the Pep Rally that morning. Everyone, including this teacher had seen me. I couldn't say I had been sick.

This particular teacher was angry partly because he felt that athletes got special privileges. I was one of the captains on the football team (there were three of us). He wanted to bring me down. Unfortunately, I wasn't worried.

The teacher was actually one of my favorites. He taught Physics. I liked the course and appreciated the teacher. I just came up with an excuse to skip for the rest of the day and was pretty sure that I would get by with it. There were several others on the football team with me. If I got busted the rest of them would have to be busted too.

The Principal invited me in and I told him what happened. He wrote me an excuse and sent me to class. I thought the teacher was going to bust a blood vessel when I gave it to him. It really wasn't until that moment that I felt some guilt. I shouldn't have gotten away with it. How did this happen?

We seem to measure right and wrong based on who is being judged. The athlete, the cheerleader, the Student Body President and others deemed privileged. Others, because of  their parents' prestige, get passes while others are forced to pay for their transgressions. This world is corrupt and makes up excuses for the corrupt.

God will not act in this way. He will not take into account that I am a pastor. He will not fret over whether or not I can play on Sunday morning. He is not worried about winning or what others might say. He will judge clearly based upon His commandments and laws. He will judge if I have been righteous.

In the end I will not receive an excuse. I will not be allowed back in class because He has written a note saying that others must ignore what I have done. He will demand the full payment. He must because He is holy. Nothing can corrupt Him.

I wonder if that will be my fullest realization of what Jesus did on the cross. I wonder if God will tell His Son to show me His hands and feet. I wonder if I will see the places where the crown of thorns sat. Will I be shown His back that was beaten or His side that was pierced?

No, my sins are not excused. Instead, I have received grace. Grace that comes from the love of God who neither denies that I have sinned nor left me to be condemned by them. A guilty verdict will be declared in that Great Court of Judgment. But the sound of "Guilty!" will not have stopped echoing throughout that court before the words "Paid for!" and "Forgiven" will also be heard.

Grace is amazing. It does not leave you in your sins. It pays for them so that you don't have to carry them with you any longer.

Ephesians 1:7-8 (NIV)
7 In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God's grace 8  that he lavished on us with all wisdom and understanding.

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