“I write this to you so that you will not sin. But if anybody does sin, we have an advocate with the Father- Jesus Christ, the Righteous One. He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world.” 1 John 2:1-2
The scene reads like a courtroom drama: the defendant stands before the judge, head down and shoulders slumped. He knows he’s guilty. The judge knows he’s guilty. But beside him is his defense attorney, his advocate, pleading his case.
Okay, now let’s switch-up the players a bit. This time God is the judge and you and I are the defendants. We know we’re sinners. There’s no denying that we look out for ourselves at the expense of others from time to time. We’ve been prideful, dishonest, hurtful… the list could go on. We’re definitely guilty. And then there’s God, the judge. In His perfect justice, sin and guilt cannot go unpunished – the penalty is death. But right next to us stands Jesus, our advocate, our defense attorney, who acknowledges to the judge that we are guilty and that we deserve judgment and death. But suddenly, He adds, “Your honor, I’ve taken care of that guilt. I paid the penalty for that sin.”
And indeed He has.
And He offers this sacrificial love to you and to me. When we accept God’s gift of love, the perfect justice and mercy of God rolled into one, we can stand before the judge, guiltless and forgiven. It’s as if the God of the Universe, the great judge, steps down from His throne and offers us a pure robe of righteousness. No longer are we guilty defendants awaiting judgment, but thanks to Jesus, the debt has been paid and the sin is forgiven.
Have you received the sacrificial love found in faith in Jesus? It’s not enough to just show up to church or claim to believe all this ‘stuff’ – you’ve got to accept this gift of love so that the love of God can begin to dwell in your life. God won’t force you to accept it – He loves you too much for that. But the offer is there, on the table, waiting to be received. Will you receive it? It’s your choice.
What about today?