Freed From the Penalty: HOME

Have you wondered why God would offer a rescue plan for people who have spit in His face? Why would Jesus pay such a price to buy our freedom, even though we had no interest in a relationship with God? For that matter, why do we have to be freed?

Christ suffered for our sins once for all time. He never sinned, but he died for sinners to bring you safely home to God
(1 Peter 3:18).

The country music singer Collin Raye performed a song about an eighteen-year-old leaving home, ready to live his own life, and “glad to be gone.” Off he goes to a strange and lonely city where, unpacking his things, he finds a note from his mother, a Bible, and a bus ticket home.

The simple story told in Collin Raye’s “A Bible and a Bus Ticket Home” is the story of Adam and Eve and all their children. Eager to choose our own paths, we turned our backs on the One who offered us life to the fullest. But even then, even as we were still running away and rebelling against Him, He gave us a plan to get back home and He purchased the ticket we would need.

Most of us can understand a mother’s love that paves the way for her son to come back home if and when he wishes. Still we ask, Why would Almighty God come to earth as a human and be willing to take our punishment? Why not just leave this world to destroy itself? The answer is simple and yet so deep that we will never fully understand it until we see all things clearly: the God who made the universe loves us and wants us to come home to Him. We were made to live in and return His love. 

He gave us that ticket back home even while we were still rebelling and running away.

Scripture presents this picture: God had great and glorious plans for His creation. Instead, Adam and Eve and all of their family decided to choose their own paths. We’ve twisted and broken all of what God originally pronounced “good.” We’ve ignored God and purposely turned out backs to Him. God’s wayward creation deserves anger and condemnation. But instead we’re offered mercy and forgiveness and an invitation that says, “Come back to Me. Your way has been paid. It’s safe to come home.”

He still has great and glorious plans for His people. He will free us from everything else, so that we can come home to Him and inherit what He created us to have in the first place.

This is the message of Good News for the people of Israel—that there is peace with God through Jesus Christ, who is Lord of all (Acts 10:36).

*

Psalm Prayer:

LORD, if you kept a record of our sins,
   who, O LORD, could ever survive?
But you offer forgiveness,
   that we might learn to fear you.
I am counting on [you] LORD;
   yes, I am counting on [you].
   I have put my hope in [your] word (Psalm 130:3-5).

*

© Elaine Starner 2015

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