For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him. – 2 Corinthians 5:21
I have always had a really hard time watching shows or movies where someone is getting blamed for something they didn’t do. They are usually someone in high standing that have integrity and respect. But when they’re being blamed for a heinous crime, everyone turns their back on them and they lose everything. I want to shout, “But he is innocent!” I want to fast forward to the part where the real bad guy gets caught. Then everyone finally figures out that the hero really is innocent and they are restored to the happy place they were in before the misdeed of justice occurred. I think most of us have a desire for fairness and justice to prevail. For the innocent party to be acquitted and the guilty party to be condemned. For truth to win out in the end.
I know a true story about an innocent man that suffered immensely for things he did not do. He was a kind and loving man who held the highest of standing – the Son of the King. He lived humbly and spent his short life trying to show people the way to live, and to tell them the truth about the only thing that matters. He did everything by direct authority from the King, as he was the exact representation of the King. At first he had a lot of friends. People gathered around him wherever he went. Even celebrated his humble arrival into town in exuberant fashion. Of course, like there always are, there were some that were threatened by his humble leadership and his claim to the throne. They began to plot a way to get rid of him. Eventually they succeeded and he was brought before the leaders, accused of crimes he did not commit. Crimes that demanded death.
Amazingly, he never tried to deflect the guilt he knew wasn’t his. He didn’t say a word on his own behalf. He was abandoned by his closest friends. He was scorned at and spit on. He was ridiculed and mocked. He was brutally beaten until his blood spilled on the street. He was nailed by his hands and feet to a tree and hoisted up to die on display as his weeping mother looked on. And worse than all that even his Father, the King, looked away from him in disgust as his pure innocence was covered by the filth of guilt that didn’t belong to him. He died and he was buried. There seemed no hope of a happy ending.
But the story didn’t end there! After three days he rose to life, returning home to his father. Restored to all the glory that belongs to him. The happy ending we all hope for. But wait – did they catch the bad guy? Did they finally figure out who actually committed the crimes that this innocent man was condemned for? Did the guilty party finally pay?
Well, I must confess. I am the guilty party. It was my filthy guilt that led to this man’s suffering and death. So where am I now? Am I imprisoned awaiting the punishment due for my crimes? Surely he pointed at me from his high place and said to the King. “There she is! She’s the guilty one whose crimes I died for! Sentence her to death and make sure she suffers like I did!”
Amazingly, that’s not what happened. Instead he looked at me as I trembled at the thought of my impending fate and said. “I have already paid the price for your guilt. I don’t want you to suffer what I suffered. If you will you trust in me, I will tell my Father to set aside your sentence.”
Through tears I proclaimed my gratitude, knowing that there was no one else I could trust in to die in my place. And then, as if that wasn’t enough, he put his arm around me and said. “Now you are part of my family and nothing will ever come between us. I will always be by your side. And I have a place prepared especially for you in my palace that one day I will come and bring you to!”
Hallelujah! The happy ending I don’t deserve is mine because of Jesus!
“Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also.”- John 14:1-3
Just as people are destined to die once, and after that to face judgment, so Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many; and he will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for him. – Hebrews 9:27-28