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Remission Impossible : A Child's Logic     From Nothing but the Blood Audio
This is the manner of remission: every creditor shall release what he has loaned to his neighbor; he shall not exact it of his neighbor and his brother, because the Lord’s remission has been proclaimed.  —Deuteronomy 15

But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. —Romans 5

Results. We’re looking at what the blood of Jesus did to reconcile our relationship with God. We talked about how God’s non-negotiable (that He couldn’t not be holy) and my non-negotiable (that I can’t not sin) seem insurmountable. If a couple here in Atlanta had those same non-negotiables, no one would think that relationship could last.

But God (did you know that those are my two favorite words in Scripture—44 times in Scripture God changes the conversation/storyline/mankind back to His will) . . . Wait, while I’m on a tangent, let’s run down another. In this portion of the discussion, we’re rolling out some church-y words, but if you’ll stick with me, I promise . . .

. . . that you’ll come away with a personal understanding of each one through a real life story.

[Getting back on track] BUT GOD didn’t think so. God had a plan for returning mankind/me/you into the relationship for which we were created.

First, God sent Jesus to REDEEM our souls from each and every thing that we sold them to. But the blood of Jesus did more than that. The blood of Jesus then provided a REMISSION for our sins.

REMISSION is a fancy word for forgiveness. Consider this story that Billy Graham was known to tell:

Three siblings are playing one day, when the older brother asks his sister, “How do you know that God has forgiven your sins?

Without looking up, the sister answers, “Because of God’s justice.

“Don’t you mean God’s grace?”

“No. God’s justice. If Jesus paid for my sins on the cross, then it would be unjust for God to charge me for them, too.

Grace is a piece of it, too. Grace was sending Jesus, and if God is anything as much as Holy, He’s just. But justice demands a debt paid doesn’t need to be paid again. The blood of Jesus was that sacrifice that, as we discussed, since the beginning would cover all.

In one act, God created a Way. Having fully paid for my/your/our sin, God could remain holy and still accept my/your/our non-negotiable—sin.

Suddenly this thing that seemed impossible only seconds ago, becomes possible.

I don’t think I grasp even the beginning of this, but let's explore deeper the question of sin.

If you’ve ever had one of those non-negotiable fights with someone you’re in relationship with, the one constant is an inflation of the other’s faults and a diminishment of my own. Ok, ok, ok. I know I was rude to your mother and made a disruption in the wedding ceremony and that everyone’s upset at me, but THEY … …first. So I had no choice but to …

We do the same thing with God. I’ve murdered (Matthew 5:21-22). I’ve lied (either this is true or I’m lying now, so, yes). I’ve cheated (Matthew 5:27-28). In fact, with the standard of the Law, there’s not one law I haven’t broken. I’m my father’s (Adam’s) son. I stand guilty in front of the court (Matthew 5:25), and what’s my defense? Ok, ok, ok. I know that I did all these things, but:

    1. . . . what about that guy? I’m certainly better than him, or
    2. . . . if You hadn’t put _________ into my life then I wouldn’t have ___________ . . ., or
    3. . . . if You can’t accept me as I am, then I stand ready to take whatever punishment You have.

I mention my experiences in traffic court in Chapter 10-The Great-ceful Dance in A Rooster Once Crowed, but I’ve seen 3, above, in action:

A young man was so ashamed and embarrassed of his crime (it was a DUI accident, I think) and all he’d put his family through, that he stepped to the podium and declared himself guilty. He was (maybe) 25 years old. He seemed to feel that he was taking responsibility and doing what needed to be done.

The judge tried to get him to reconsider, but he was resolved to stand for his crime. The judge sentenced him to 9 months in Fulton County jail. This was a young man had options (options like we have to REMIT punishment), but I’ll never forget the look on his face.

He’d worked it out in his head differently. The judge was going to see something different in him, but because he brought no defense and had no representation in that court, the judge only saw the crime and in one single moment,  he was destroyed.

So like the person on the other end of that wedding/family fight, we diminish our own complicity in sin and shake a finger at God. Without recognition of all I’ve done to require this Way—the blood of Jesus—I’m apt to criticize it or complain that it’s too hard or not available to everyone.

But if we squint and hold our heads just right and open our hearts, then for just a brief moment, we can see the beauty of One, Who though He was wronged, broke hell to provide just one small Way back into heaven. And it’s in those moments, when we drop our excellently constructed arguments against the other and abandon our plan of attack. We slowly pull each other close and whisper, I’m sorry. I’m so sorry. Will you forgive me?

I’m sorry Lord. Not just for all I’ve done wrong, but for what I’ve done right. There is no account of me that is worthy of You. Thank You. In spite of my condition, You crossed the universe to bring me back and give us all a chance to bring everyone we know, back in to relationship with you. Remind us that we have never met a mere mortal and help us to bring glimpses of heaven here, now. I love You.

l love you.          

This is the thirteenth part in a multi-part post expanding on an exceptional talk Billy Graham gave at the University of Cambridge in 1955 with influences from Tim Keller's sermon series Christ: Our Treasury (The Book of Hebrews). To hear an overview of this material, consider listening to the original Nothing but the Blood audio, linked here (it'll stream from a mobile device), read all the posts to date by clicking #nothingbuttheblood, or hear the most recent version of the Nothing but the Blood talk by streaming it on the player, below. If you'd like to get these posts sent to you via email (and you're not already), click here to register and make sure to tell us that you're a Back Porch Friend.

The next in this series, Part 14. Just As If I'd Never Been Justified is available by clicking here.

The above media player has something new on it. I've mastered the audio a bit to make it sound a little better and added a new intro and close. I'd love to hear your feedback on it down below. Just click play and it'll stream from your computer, tablet or mobile device.
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