Friday, March 29, 2013

Today I'm going to tell you a story. 
There was a man who was just an average person. He had never killed or robbed anyone; he had never done anything to hurt anybody intentionally. He did tell a couple of lies here and there, but who didn't? He wasn't completely honest here and there, but who was? One day, this man was driving home thinking about the things he had to do that evening when suddenly a young man crossed in front of his car. It was raining and even though the man stepped on the break as hard as he could,  he still hit the boy. He got off his car, checked on the boy lying there on the pavement and tried to call someone. No signal on his cell phone. He was afraid of picking the boy up and hurting him even more. Confused, wet, desperate, the man got in his car and drove away to find help. When he got back there was an ambulance, the police and some people there. They were talking about this cruel person who hit the boy and left him there in the rain, on the pavement to die. The man wanted to say it was him, but he didn't find the courage nor the strength to do so. 
The next days were terrible for him. He couldn't sleep nor eat. All he could do was think about what he had done. Until he finally could not take it any longer and decided to confess what he had done. He went to the hospital where the boy was recovering, told the boy's parents what had happened, and begged them to forgive him. How surprised they all were when the young man opened his eyes and said, " I forgive you. I completely forgive you, and I will make sure that my Mom and Dad won't press any charges against you." The man then, with tears in his eyes, told the boy, "Son I deserve to be punished. What I did was wrong." The young man replied, "But if I forgave you, you no longer need a punishment, because forgiveness erases the wrong that was done."
What do you think? Should the man still be punished?
Our story, real story, is a lot like that man's. We might be good people, who haven't made any "major" mistake. But, you see, to God that doesn't really matter. Whether our sin is just a "little white" lie or an abortion; "just" keeping a couple of cents given to us by the cashier by mistake, or robbing a bank. We all need forgiveness. The only way to be free from the punishment we deserve (hell) is to be forgiven by God. However His standards are based on perfection because He is perfect. We are not. We were born sinners. We have the tendency to do what's wrong. So, how can we reach a perfect God? Through His Son. God loves us so much that He doesn't want to spend eternity without us. So He sent His son to pay the debt we could not pay. When we accept that His Son is the ONLY way to HIM. When we confess that the wrong we do is called sin, and therefore hurt God's holiness and perfection. When we accept His endless love for us and surrender our lives to Him. He will forgive us, and there won't be any charges against us. We will be free from the eternal punishment. WHAT A WONDERFUL GIFT! That's right. There is nothing we can do to save ourselves from the punishment we deserve. The only way is to accept God's forgiveness that is FREE. It is a gift that we receive through Jesus, because He is the only one who died and rose from the dead. He defeated physical death, so we can have eternal life! Eternal life with Him, our loved ones, who also chose to accept His love and forgiveness. 
Would you like to receive this gift? Would you like to be forgiven and free from the weight of your sins? Then just tell God that. Tell him you are sorry for what you have done, "big" or "small" and ask Him to forgive you.  There is no sin that He can't forgive. There is nothing you can do to make Him love you any more or less than He does already. I promise you will have an amazing peace. Your heart will be filled with His love. He will be with you during the good times and the tough ones. So, accept God's WONDERFUL GIFT  of forgiveness today. Celebrate Easter for the real reason: Jesus Christ's death and resurrection for you.

Happy Resurrection Day!