Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Firsthand Lessons

Today I had the joy of going to a very popular place in Memphis, the 201. It's always fun to live in a city where everyone knows the address of the jail. I had to go there to deal with a speeding ticket I'd received in July (on my birthday no less), and hopefully get it dismissed or just take traffic school.

I was to report there at 1:30, and I got there early of course. I proceeded to wait in a line that seemed like it would never end, sandwiched between two ladies with the foulest mouths I've ever seen and a guy who had not appeared at his previous court dates. The immediate thought that came to mind was the Great White Throne Judgment in Revelation, where everyone appears before the Lord and are judged. Hopefully, that Judgment won't take as long as my trip did today (not that it matters, in eternity I believe time will pass as nothing because we won't be bound by the constraints we have here on earth), and if it does hopefully there will be a magazine rack. :)

The reason why this was a firsthand lesson is that I was going to appear before a bench and have a decision made regarding my ticket. Did I break the law? Yes, I did, 5 over. Did I get caught? Yes, and those cruisers are quick! Did I have any good excuse? No, I was driving home. Did I deserve to be punished and fined for what I did? Yes, I was guilty as charged. In the same way, we as sinners have no excuse for our crimes, and have been found guilty by a Holy God who has pronounced a sentence of death and condemnation upon us because of our sin.

That is the scenario we face, sinners guilty before the sight of God. Now, here comes the amazing part. When I got to the bench, the lady said "Your 5 over is dismissed, have a good day." In that simple sentence, my offense against the city of Memphis was pardoned, forgiven, and I was free to go. Mercy had been shown, mercy I did not deserve and have any right to claim. Some people there had an argument for their offense, they didn't have their current insurance card with them but brought it to court. I didn't have any excuse, I was guilty, but I was shown mercy.

Just like that, in Christ we have a pardon before the Father. But it is a pardon far greater than having a speeding ticket expunged, it is the forgiveness of a Holy God towards a guilty sinner. How awesome is it that in Christ we are forgiven our debts and set free to live a life devoted to Him, in His mercy, in His grace, in His power and in His presence.

Know it's cheesy, but I thought it was pretty cool. Laying on the couch with an ice pack on watching Jim Rome, so I'll close it like Romey would do.

War UofL making sandwiches out of Kansas State's defense next week, War the Douglas Dundees running the table in the Shine Jesus Shine fantasy football league.


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