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Communion 2010

Never Been Convicted

Originally scheduled for April 11, 2010

A friend of ours had been accused of a very serious crime. His first hearing was set, and we made it a point to be in court that morning. Unrelated to his charges we saw justice mingled with mercy that day. Here’s how it happened:

A long line of men was placed against one of the courtroom walls. The deputy lined them up in alphabetic order. The judge called each man up to the bench in turn. He would examine the man’s file – it soon became clear that the men had been charged and convicted of driving while drunk. If the man had completed certain training, and performed some number of hours of community service, the judge would dismiss the charges. As he did, he told each man, “you may now say that you have never been convicted of driving under the influence.”

The first reaction is, “WHAT? The man was convicted; how can you say it never happened?” But then consider: would you hire a man with a DUI conviction on his record? Doing this made the man employable again. Justice was satisfied with the conviction; mercy with the remittance.

Sinners are in much the same situation with God. We will all face the judgment some day, and we know that God is a righteous God. We are, each and every one, sinners. Righteous judgment must be satisfied.

But just as our courts have found, there is a way to satisfy that judgment while being merciful to the defendant. That mercy is found at the Cross; whoever accepts that mercy pleads the sacrifice of Christ as covering his offenses. This mercy is by no means cheap; it cost the very life of Jesus Christ. The blood of the sinless man is the price of God’s justice.

To obtain this mercy, you must follow the Judge’s instructions. You must plead in the name of Christ. So that you will not forget the price or the mercy, He has established this Communion. Whenever you take it, remember that you are a sinner who has thrown himself on the mercy of the court, solely on the basis of the sacrifice of Christ. As you take the cup, remember the blood that paid for your sins. As you take the bread, remember the suffering his body endured. The price of your forgiveness is in your hands. Take it, remembering the one who gave his life for you.

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