"A Pardon Undeserved"
Isaiah 53:6 - All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned—every one—to his own way; and the LORD has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.
The ancient prophet Isaiah has a message for each of us: we all "like sheep have gone astray." We have sinned terribly against God. Each of us has turned to his own way. Yet in His mercy, the Father has caused all our sins to fall upon His Son Jesus!
Isaiah also explains when God the Father saw the suffering of His Son Jesus—and the blood with which Jesus paid for our sins and failures—how it satisfied God's demand of righteousness and holiness. Christ's suffering, death, and victorious resurrection has gained for us an undeserved pardon! Though people may criticize what God has done for you, no one can take away the pardon the Lord Jesus Christ has earned for you when He died.
No clearer explanation of God's acquitting grace can be seen than that explained by the psalmist when he writes, God "does not deal with us according to our sins" (Psalm 103:10a). You see "in Christ" God has pardoned you, even though you don't deserve it. As Isaiah says, "He poured out His soul to death and was numbered with the transgressors; yet He bore the sin of many, and makes intercession for the transgressors" (Isaiah 53:12b). By His sacrifice, you can now be totally forgiven and healed from all your sins.
Even in your darkest hour, in your most discouraging moments, the gracious, absolving power of God will uplift you and give you a new start and a reason to live. You see, the best way to build a new future is to first be assured by God Himself, that in His sight you can start over, based on His total forgiveness and His perfect forgiveness.
So friends, remember that when God pardons you, He does not make light of His salvation plan for you and what it cost His Son. No! God cannot overlook the horrible cost for your sins. When Jesus went to die on the cross, His blood was the full and complete payment for all of your sins. As the apostle Paul says, "For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord" (Romans 6:23).
This pardon, my friends, is the Good News of salvation in Jesus Christ. This is the mercy God is now offering you and me, and to all sinners.
THE PRAYER: Heavenly Father, thank You for saving us from our sins. In Jesus' Name we pray. Amen.
From "You Are Pardoned," a sermon excerpt from Rev. Dr. Wallace Schulz, former Speaker of The Lutheran Hour
1. Have you ever received an unexpected pardon for something you did wrong?
2. What does it mean that God laid our iniquity on Jesus?
3. Is there someone who would benefit from your forgiveness today?
Today's Bible Readings: 2 Chronicles 7-9 2 Corinthians 2
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