My children have mixed reactions when watching old videos of themselves. On the one hand, they enjoy seeing their younger selves and how they used to behave. On the other hand, they can feel embarrassed by their past actions and words. Personally, I am grateful that my life was not recorded for the world to see. If it was played back for everyone to watch, there are so many moments that would make me feel embarrassed and guilty. The opening verse of Chapter 8 in Paul’s letter to the Romans brings sweet relief to my heart. Paul writes:
1 Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus…
How can this sentence be true? There are so many things I feel guilty about in my past that if brought up, would embarrass or condemn me. How can there be no condemnation? We cannot simply sweep all these things under the carpet for, eventually, the carpet will be lifted. The old footage will resurface, and the old letter will be read. No, my record needs to be wiped clean. How can it be wiped clean? How can I ever stand in that wonderful, safe place where God will never bring up my past again? Well, it is because someone else was condemned in my place. My sins are not forgotten, but they have been paid for. When Jesus died on the cross, he was condemned for us.
At the cross, Jesus owned our wrongs as if they were his own. He absorbed every mistake within us. He paid the cost of sin. God executed his final sentence on our sins through Christ’s death. Just like when you have already paid for your groceries at the checkout, the store manager cannot chase you to the carpark and demand to be paid again. What a sweet relief to know that Jesus has paid the cost for my foolishness. The burden of my debt has been lifted.