"Forgiven and Innocent"
July 7, 2007Email to a FriendPrint
Pilate…said to them, "You brought me this man as one who was inciting the people to rebellion. I have examined Him in your presence and have found no basis for your charges against Him… As you can see, He has done nothing to deserve death. Therefore, I will punish him and then release him." Luke 23:13-16
A policeman talked to me of two men who tried to steal a bank’s ATM cash machine. They looped one end of a chain around the ATM and the other end around the bumper of their pickup truck. Instead of dragging away the machine, they ripped the bumper right off their truck. Panicked, the two hurriedly left the scene and drove home. Officers soon caught up with the pair. It wasn’t a hard case to crack. When they left their bumper behind, it still held their license plate.
Now I know you’ve never tried to steal an ATM, but that doesn’t mean you’re completely innocent. We’ve all done bad things haven’t we? No, I'm not going to get specific here. I don’t need to. But you know what you've done wrong, don’t you? You may hide what you've done from your parents, your spouse, your children, your boss, your minister, and your closest friends, but you know.
You know you have broken God's laws and most probably man's laws as well. The world's greatest leaders, the most gentle of mothers, the kindest of doctors must confess, “I have sinned.” Scripture clearly tells us that there is no man on the earth that does only good and never sins.
Except for Jesus. True man and true God, Jesus did nothing wrong, which is not to say that Jesus didn’t do anything. For 33 years, He did the will of His Father. Misunderstood and hated, Jesus did all that was necessary to save sinners. When lepers called out to Him, He healed them. When a mother mourned the death of her son and a father his daughter, Jesus brought them back to life. Most importantly, Jesus did all that was necessary to save us. Looking to the cross, as well as Christ’s empty tomb, you can see the sinless Son of God loved you with a love that cannot be measured. For you he did nothing wrong and everything right. All this Jesus did, so someday you can stand before the eternal Judge and be found forgiven and innocent.
Excerpt from The Lutheran Hour sermon preached on April 4, 2004
THE PRAYER: Loving God, I give You my praise and thanks for Your immeasurable love. Give me the strength to live my life to Your glory until the day I stand before You. In Your Name. Amen.