TUESDAY, MARCH 31
And you, who were dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses, by canceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This he set aside, nailing it to the cross.
Colossians 2:13-14 (ESV)
HIS PARDON MUST BE ACCEPTED
When Jesus shouted, “It is finished!” He announced that the payment for sins was now complete. His death was sufficient payment for every sin we would ever commit. The word, Tetelestai, was an accounting term used to describe when a person’s debt was paid in full. On the cross, Jesus paid the penalty for all our sins. However, this amazing offer to have our entire sin debt paid in full must be accepted before it is applied to our account. If someone gave you a check to pay off your mortgage, you would still owe the balance until you transferred the money to your mortgage company. If the check remained on your desk without ever being deposited, you would still have an outstanding debt.
In 1830 George Wilson was convicted of robbing the U.S. Mail and was sentenced to be hanged. After public sentiment came in for mercy on this first-time offender, President Andrew Jackson issued a pardon for Wilson. But there was one problem. He refused to accept it. The matter went to Chief Justice Marshall of the Supreme Court. He concluded that Wilson would have to be executed. “A pardon is a slip of paper,” wrote Marshall, “the value of which is determined by the acceptance of the person to be pardoned. If it is refused, it is no pardon. George Wilson must be hanged.”
In the same way, if we refuse to trust in the gracious gift of pardon that Jesus offered from the cross, we are still in debt to God for our sins. Have you accepted His complete and irrevocable pardon? Do you ever struggle to believe that Jesus wiped out your sin debt? Why? What problems might arise in your life if you doubt that Jesus’ death on the cross was sufficient payment for all your sins? How would you benefit from believing that you are completely forgiven?
Psalm 86:5 says, “O Lord, you are so good, so ready to forgive, so full of unfailing love for all who ask for your help” (NLT2). Thank God that He is full of love and ready to forgive those who ask. Thank Him for hearing your plea for forgiveness.