What To Do With All The Crimes I Have Committed?

You’ve got a rap sheet longer than?The Lord of the Rings: Extended Edition. You’re no stranger to crime. You might even say that you are a crime prodigy of sorts. From a young age you showed a curious ability to take something good and prestidigitate it into something wicked. With a flourish of the hand and a flick of the fingers, you could produce evil out of thin air. Others followed your lead, impressed by your ability and confidence. But truth be told, you can’t really brag about your skillz (yes with a “Z”).

Because I too am a crime prodigy. So is every other person who walks upon Planet Earth. Of course, I’m referring to spiritual crimes committed against God. This Earth is one, massive spiritual crime syndicate.

Ponder for just a moment the vast number of crimes you have committed. Anger. Impatience. Lust. Sexual perversion. Ignoring the poor. Extreme selfishness. Hypocrisy. Greed. Pornography. Selfish ambition. The list goes on and on. I have a history of crimes against God, and these crimes are serious. To blatantly disobey my Creator is no small thing. I cannot get off on a technicality or have my charges reduced. My sentence is eternal death with no possibility of parole.

Is there any hope for me? Yes there is. There is one man who knows the law so well that he can arrange an appropriate plea bargain with God. And in a strange twist of fates, the plea bargain involves the lawyer giving himself up in my place. The terms of the plea bargain are as follows:

Christ stands as our advocate before God’s bar and pleads before the Father. Whatever can rightly be charged upon us, he accepts the whole charge upon himself, acknowledging the crimes to be his own. And this, he must do. If he hides the sin, or lessens it, he is faulty; if he leaves it still upon us, we die. He must then take our iniquity to himself, make it his own, and so deliver us. (John Bunyan)

What a wonderfully, bewilderingly strange arrangement Christ has secured on our behalf! He takes all of our crimes upon himself and acknowledges them to be his own. I could never have arranged such an intricate, extravagant pardon. Only someone with a full knowledge of God’s law and a full knowledge of God’s love could devise such a plan. Only God could arrange such a pardon.

Be happy today! Be of good cheer! You are free. You have an advocate who has taken your crimes upon himself. Rejoice in such a pardon.

There’s A (Gasp) MAN On The Throne

There it is – in the distance – can you see it? ?Give it another second, the clouds are parting some.

There it is – it’s that glowing golden light in the distance. ?You can begin to make out the edges now. You can begin to tell what it is. ?See, it’s a throne. ?And can you see those forms swirling all around it? Those are angels and Seraphim. ?And that moving mass before it? ?That’s a multitude from every tribe and tongue. ?The singing is so beautiful. ?Look, you can see it more clearly now – the very throne of heaven. ?And now we can begin to see the glorious one who occupies the throne. ?But wait – what? There’s a – gasp – MAN on the throne.

A human being is at the right hand of God. A man is there?a glorified man?not a spirit, but a man. It is the resurrected Christ standing at the right hand of God the Father, exercising authority over His church. One old Puritan preacher said, ?Mankind has received the great dignity, that one of our number has been exalted to the right hand of the Majesty on high. One of our number has been exalted.?

If my brother or my son were exalted to the presidency, I would be very happy about it and would say, ?I have received a great dignity that one of my sons has become president of the United States.? But we have received a dignity infinitely greater than the dignity of presidents and kings. We have received a dignity that one of our number has gone to a higher place than the president?s office or a high priest?s status. We honor these men, but there is a place above all. And that place is where Jesus Christ is. God has taken Him there, and He is there as our High Priest.

There’s a man on the throne. ?Glorified, and infinitely majestic, awesome in power, but a man. ?One of our own. ?One who knows how it feels to be exhausted. ?Or rejected. ?One who knows what it’s like to sweat and shiver. ?Who knows the grief of a loved one dying. ?Who knows the agony of betrayal and abandonment.

There’s a man on the throne. ?He was tempted like we are in every way, yet never gave in. ?He was tempted worse than we’ll ever be. ?He was tempted to despair. ?To anger. ?To just give up. ?He was tempted to lust and pride. ?He was tempted to believe lies about God. ?He never gave in, but he knows the power and pull of temptation.

He knows what you’re going through. ?He knows how you feel. ?What you’re tempted to believe about God. ?He knows what it’s like to feel like God himself has forsaken you. ?He knows how tired you are of it all.

There’s a man on the throne. ?He hears. ?He understands. ?And he can help. ?

He’s got mercy and grace for time of need. ?He says, “Come. ?Cast your cares on me for I care for you. ?I love you. ?There’s grace here. ?I have strength and joy for you. ?Come. ?Lay your burdens at my feet. Tell me how hard it is. ?I’ll understand and I’ll sympathize. ?And I’ll help.”

One of our number?Jesus?has been exalted to the right hand of the power on high. Think of Joseph, when he went down to Egypt and was seated on the throne. When his brothers came down to Egypt, he could get anything he wanted for them.

There’s a man on the throne. ?Let’s run to him.

….

Quotes from Preparing for Jesus’ Return: Daily Live the Blessed Hope?by A. W. Tozer, James L. Snyder

Represent!

Christ represents us in heaven; we represent him on earth.

What an awesome thought – Christ represents us in heaven! ?The perfect, spotless, Lamb of God pleads his own blood and righteousness on our behalf at the Father?s right hand. He?s the perfect representative! He doesn’t forget a single need. He never takes a break. He knows exactly what it?s like for us. ?He knows just what to say and ask for on our behalf.

What?s amazing is that he chooses us to represent him on earth. For some unknown reason he hasn?t chosen many who are wise, reputable or strong, but he’s chosen weak, flawed, sinful people to represent him to a dying world.? What an honor!? What a privilege!? What a joy!? What a high calling!

And since he chose us, he will empower us and pour out his Spirit on us mightily, change our character, give us gifts, produce fruit, give us power and victory over sin – in other words, make us like himself – that we might represent him and his glory to the world.

What are we to show the world of Jesus? We are to display his holiness, righteousness and purity. ?His joy, gentleness, patience and long-suffering. We?re to demonstrate his faithfulness and heart to serve.

We represent him by word as well as deed, thanking and praising him, proclaiming his good news and appealing to people to turn to him.

So whatever you do today, whether you post on Facebook, go to lunch with co-workers, or take your kids to the playground, remember you represent Jesus! So pray for the power of the Spirit to do that in a way that pleases him.

One Fine Day In Court

I place my hand firmly on the Bible, hoping no one notices my trembling fingers.? Yes, I promise to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.

I take the stand.? My palms sweat.? My tie is strangling me and my breathing is shallow.? My tongue feels like a dead lizard in my mouth.? The prosecutor glides toward me, smiling like a cobra.

“Mr. Altrogge, last night, while talking with your sons you became quite angry, didn’t you?”

“Well, you have to understand…”

“Just answer ‘yes’ or ‘no’ Mr. Altrogge.? You became quite angry, am I correct?”

“Yes.”

“And following that event you continued to be angry, and in fact spent at least 2 hours smoldering in unbelief, self-pity and depression.”

“You know I did.? You were there.”

“Yes or no, Mr. Altrogge.”

“Yes.”

“Your honor, I rest my case.? The defendant has yet again committed crimes against both you and his family, and has even freely admitted his guilt.? And these crimes are but? the tip of the iceberg.? For example, just this morning he…”

“Objection, Your Honor!”

The prosecutor’s scaley head whips around and his eyes narrow to burning slits that glare at my attorney as he rises to speak.

“Your honor, it is true that my client has committed these crimes.? But I would like to present my own record of flawless obedience on my client’s behalf.? I also call as my witness my blood.? Hear it speaking: all his crimes have been paid for – forever – in full.”

The prosecutor cringes, snarling, hissing.

“Your honor, he…is…SO…guilty…”

The Judge’s gavel rings out like a crack of thunder.? “Objection sustained!? I hereby declare the accused to be innocent of all charges.? In fact, as I examine him, I find his righteousness to be impeccable.? Mr. Altrogge, you are free to go.? Sleep well tonight.”

Then the Judge leans over to the Defense Attorney.? “Well done, Son.”

My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous (1 JN 2.1).

photo by vaXzine