Monday, May 14, 2012

IS There Enough FORGIVENESS for both Criminal & Sinners?

The difference is one breaks the law of God, while the other breaks the law of man. Sometimes both.

My crime, driving drunk & injuring two people, may not be an out-right “sin”, but it undoubtedly is a crime. Then again, if I do not follow man’s laws am I not also disobeying God since we are instructed to submit ourselves to earthly authorities? If disobedience to God is itself a sin, why do we ‘pick & choose’ which “laws” we live by?

What about fighting, whether physical or verbal? Definitely a crime(assault), but isn’t it disobedience if we are supposed to live by love as Christ instructed us?
Speeding? A crime, but not a sin.
Adultery? Sinful, but not criminal.
Murder? Both.
Stealing? Both.
Lying? Can be both, definitely a sin.
What about killing to protect loved ones, or in times of war? Ouch! That’s a tough one. But does it matter?? Because really, which did Christ come to forgive?

In the book of Luke, we see Christ forgive a cripple of his sins. “Which is easier: to say, 'Your sins are forgiven,' or to say, 'Get up and walk'? Christ’s authority to forgive was challenged, and yet the man got up and walked afterwards. Do we then doubt that Jesus came to forgive all sins?

And what about the criminals at the crucifixion? “At most we see five minutes of this man’s life: A thief hangs on a cross erected next to Jesus. He hears soldiers, Pharisees, and the other crucified criminal mock and curse Christ. Suddenly something powerful rises in this man’s heart and we hear him say, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.” In his greatest moment of humiliation and shame, the thief only knows death’s agony, clueless that the faith his dying words express will shout a message of hope down through the ages. Because God wrote him into the story, we believe that it’s never too late to repent.”

If you have yet to ask Christ to forgive all your sins, why do you hesitate? Fearful He hasn’t the power to do it? Or perhaps you feel Jesus will reject you, stating yours is the one sin too great for Him to cover by His blood. How limited are we in our thinking of God’s ability, and willingness?

I am grateful Jesus came to save both the sinner and the criminal, because I need His atoning blood.

And though I struggle to forgive others who have sinned or committed crimes, I am glad Christ does not hesitate or struggle. I may not have the strength to forgive you what you have done, but I can love you none the less, because God sent His only Son to show me how.

Who will you forgive? Or rather, from whom would you withhold forgiveness, even if Christ has already done so?

{Re-Post from March 2011}

No comments:

Post a Comment