Bible Reading: Romans 3:21-23
We are made right in God’s sight when we trust in Jesus Christ to take away our sins. Romans 3:22
A young man found guilty of a serious crime stands waiting to hear a judge announce his punishment. The judge glares at the young man. “Do you admit that your actions were wrong?”
“Yes, Your Honor,” the defendant says softly, his head bowed in shame.
“And do you realize that the penalty for your wrongdoing is required by the law-and that it must be fulfilled before you can be set free?”
The judge looks at the young man. “On the basis of the evidence and your admission of guilt, this court sentences you to a fine of $10,000 or one year in jail.”
“But, Your Honor,” the young man says, choking back tears, “I don’t have $10,000.”
“Young man,” the judge says firmly, “the law requires that you pay the fine or spend a year in jail.” Then he raps the gavel once, signaling that court is dismissed.
As the crowd leaves the courtroom, the judge steps down from his bench and approaches the young man. “Come with me,” he says.
The defendant follows the robed judge to the cashier where people convicted of crimes pay their fines. As the young man watches, the judge reaches under his robe and pulls out his personal checkbook. He carefully writes a check for $10,000, the full amount of the fine. He signs it and hands it to the court official. Then he turns to the young man with a smile. “You’re free to go, Son.”
Tears fill the young man’s eyes. “I don’t deserve this, but thank you, Dad.” Then the two embrace.
That’s a picture of how God loves you! You can’t fully obey God’s law. Your sin has earned a heavy punishment you can’t pay. And God, who is the perfect judge, can’t forgive your sin until the fine is paid. But God—who is also your loving Father-steps down from the bench and pays the fine himself.
All you have to do to receive God’s great forgiveness is to accept his generous gift. How? By trusting Jesus Christ to take away your sins. Then all is forgiven-and you can enjoy the fact that you are a much-loved son or daughter of your totally just, totally loving God.
TALK: What if God hadn’t provided Jesus to make things right between you and him? How would you feel if you were still under the penalty for sin?
PRAY: God, thanks for sending Jesus as the one way our sins can be forgiven so we can be set free to follow you.
ACT: God has kindly forgiven you. Who has done something wrong to you—and needs to know you forgive them? How can you share that great news with them?