From the writings of the Rev. Billy Graham
Imagine someone who has been arrested and jailed for a crime. He or she comes before the judge, and there’s no doubt of the charges. According to the law, that person must pay for the crime. The judge issues his verdict and pronounces the sentence; the penalty is a year in jail. The bailiff comes to lead the prisoner away. But the judge steps down from the bench, stops the bailiff, and takes the prisoner’s place. The judge is innocent—but he goes to prison and pays the penalty for the crime committed; the guilty party is free!
This is a picture of what Jesus Christ did for us. We’re guilty before God and deserve nothing less than death. But the Judge—Jesus Christ—took our place. By His death on the cross, He took the penalty we deserve, and we are free. Sin’s penalty has been fully paid. But we must accept it! Believe it! Act on it! Guilt is removed and beyond a shadow of doubt, we realize that we belong to Him. “Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven” (Psalm 32:1).
Forgiveness is a healing balm for the troubled soul. God loves us enough to offer His forgiveness that opens the pathway to a relationship with the Savior of the world. When we’re not willing to repent of sin against Him and humble ourselves, we’re really rebelling against God and rejecting all that He has done for us by sending His Son to bring healing to our sin-weary souls. Not only will Christ forgive us, He also promises the hope of Heaven to all who receive Him.
(This column is based on the words and writings of the late Rev. Billy Graham.)