Forgiveness, Life, and Salvation

My iniquities have gone over my head; they weigh like a burden too heavy for me. Psalm 38:4

The angel of the Lord said to Joseph, “Mary will bear a son, and you are to name him Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.” Matthew 1:21


Trellis in Wintertime | The Hermitage | Nashville, TN | December 2018

Amy and her older sister had been controlled by their parents’ strict rules. They had scripted every movement of their high school lives. Their mom was a teacher and taught in a nearby small town. They went to and from school with her every day. They didn’t date anyone throughout high school.

But when she went to college everything changed. She began dating a truly bad boy – a young man who was in constant trouble with the law. From shoplifting to drug and alcohol abuse he managed to drag her into his nefarious and wayward ways. Then it took an even more dramatic turn. They had torn up a hotel room, given a bogus credit card number, and been arrested. Then he jumped bail. He was on the run from the law and she was with him.

When she was finally caught she was deeply sorry. Filled with shame and remorse, she could barely look her father in the eye. But he looked her in the eye and welcomed her back into his heart and their home. He forgave her. It cost him plenty. He had to empty his savings to pay the damages to the hotel and the legal fees she had incurred.

She found her place in her family once again. She had been redeemed. She had been rescued. This is the story of God’s redemption and our rescue.

Some think little of sin. We do not consider ourselves to need rescue or redemption. Sin is a problem we easily ignore. Those little slip-ups and missteps are bothersome at worst.

God, however, thinks much of sin because he knows its entanglements are deadly. And when we come to realize that – as the Psalmist does above – we, too, become overwhelmed. What we cannot bear ourselves God bore for us. Jesus was born to save his people from their sins. And where there is forgiveness of sins, there is life and salvation. Thanks be to God!

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