We’ve Been Declared “Not Guilty”
Jesus paid the penalty for our offenses, so we could be declared blameless in God's sight.
Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ… By entering through faith into what God has always wanted to do for us—set us right with him, make us fit for him—we have it all together with God because of our Master Jesus. And that’s not all: We throw open our doors to God and discover at the same moment that he has already thrown open his door to us. We find ourselves standing where we always hoped we might stand—out in the wide open spaces of God’s grace and glory, standing tall and shouting our praise. Romans 5:1-2, NIV & The Message
Imagine the biggest trial in the grandest courtroom of all time. All the evidence has been presented. Everyone in the courtroom is waiting breathlessly. The judge is about to issue his ruling.
And you are the defendant.
What are you going to do? You know you’re guilty, and this is a death penalty case.
That’s basically the picture the Bible paints for all of us. We were created to live in constant connection with our Creator, but from the time of our ancestor Adam we’ve been disconnected from Him. We’re all guilty, and the good things we do cannot possibly make us innocent.
That’s why God did something so amazing that no human could have dreamed it up. Jesus came to earth and paid the price to make us right with God. If you’re a Christian, you know about this. But do you realize the full scope of what He did? Let’s go back to the heavenly courtroom.
Your Accuser jumps up and shrieks, “Wait! What about this!” He reminds the judge of the evidence against you, and he remembers everything. He even holds up a scroll where he’s written it all down. It’s a long scroll!
You feel panicked, but your defense attorney leans over and says, “It’s okay. I’ve got this.” He has the kindest, wisest eyes you’ve ever seen. As long as you focus on him, you’re okay.
He takes the scroll and looks over it. “I paid for this one,” he says. “And I paid for that one too. In fact, I’ve paid for all of it. My blood paid for everything on this list.” He holds up the scroll. Everything on it has been erased! “These were serious charges,” he says. “But they have all been settled and every objection has been answered.”
Bam! The Judge’s gavel strikes and He says:
“I declare this defendant not guilty! And I order all charges dismissed.”
That’s what Jesus did for us. You see, “justification” is a very specific legal term. It means that God didn’t overlook our offenses. They have been paid in full by what Jesus did on the cross. Once we trust in Jesus, God’s perfect justice demands that we be set free and cleared of all charges. If we make mistakes, we may have to face consequences on earth; but in heaven, God is ready to make things right with you forever.
Father God, on my own I cannot possibly make things right between us. But You already have! I accept Jesus’ sacrifice on my behalf, and I accept Him as my Savior. Forgive me of all my sins and make me Your child. Thank you, Lord!