I was summoned to court this morning…
Confession: I have a speeding problem. Many months ago, I received a ticket (for driving WAY over the speed limit). I wanted to quickly get on top of paying for the citation and for deferred adjudication to clear my record. I was very proud of myself when I wrote and mailed a check the next day. Now the real challenge: don’t speed for the next 6 months.
As I worked towards this better habit of safe driving, little did I know that I had failed to pay the correct amount for my citation and deferral fee. I received a letter in the mail about a month ago stating that I must appear in court on April 12th because I had an outstanding balance of $25. What? I thought I had paid my debt. I thought I was free and clear. But, this letter explained that if I did not appear for my court date and did not pay my remaining debt that this failure would result in conviction and would end up on my permanent record. Noooo! (And even worse, there would be a warrant out for my arrest!) As you can imagine, I showed up bright and early to the Woodway Courtroom this morning.
As I walked in, the receptionist looked at my record and explained that my debt had been paid. My husband had gone online and paid the remaining balance as soon as we received the letter. The next step: I needed to appear before the judge, explain my failure and oversight to pay the full amount, and hopefully he would erase this from my record.
As I sat in the courtroom, I began reflecting on my Bible Study Fellowship lesson for this week. We are discussing the Crucifixion of Jesus, and one particular question came to my mind:
“What other unseen sign was nailed to Jesus’ cross, and why is it important to you personally? (See Colossians 2:13-14)
You were dead because of your sins and because your sinful nature was not yet cut away. Then God made you alive with Christ, for he forgave all our sins. He canceled the record of the charges against us and took it away by nailing it to the cross.
As I sat there thinking about the Truth that Jesus canceled the records of the charges against me by nailing every single charge to the cross, I couldn’t help but think how much this aligned to my current circumstances. There I was, sitting in a courtroom, trying to clear my record. What’s interesting is that I thought I had done everything to pay my debt. I thought my good driving the last several months had been enough. Even my best effort to quickly pay my debt and clear my record, wasn’t enough. This is the reality for all of us. All of our best efforts are as filthy rags (Isaiah 64:6). We can never pay the full debt we owe, even with our greatest efforts.
I needed a righteous, merciful, and gracious judge who would clear my record this morning in that courtroom. Good news! Thankfully, he did.
Even GREATER NEWS! We have the perfect, righteous, most gracious Judge who has canceled our record because our loving Savior, Jesus Christ paid the debt we owed. The debt we couldn’t pay…even with all our striving.
Jesus Christ paid our debt on the excruciating Cross, and we have now been credited with His righteousness. The perfect Judge looks on us and sees a clear, clean, perfect record, because Jesus Christ has transferred His record of perfection onto us.
I will never get over that kind of gracious, unfathomable love.
I didn’t think I would say it, but I’m grateful I had to go to court this morning, because it made my Holy Week even more meaningful. I am praising Jesus Christ for paying my debt, canceling my record of wrong, and crediting me with a righteous record that I don’t deserve.
I would love to hear how this Truth has affected you.
Have you ever accepted Christ as the payment for your debt?
What does it mean to you that Christ was willing to pay your debt of sin through the Cross?
How can this Truth impact your every day life?