To recover the concepts of human sin, responsibility, guilt and restitution, without simultaneously recovering confidence in the divine work of atonement, is tragically lopsided. It is diagnosis without prescription, the futility of self-salvation in place of the salvation of God, and the rousing of hope only to dash it to the ground again.
__Stott, John. The Cross of Christ
You’re a reasonable person, you understand the difference between a sin and a “slip-up”, mistake, or social faux pas.
People give us a break for these things.
We’ve all been there.
We’ve all slipped up and ate that donut or piece of pie when we knew we shouldn’t have. We all make mistakes, so for the decent person it’s pretty easy to give someone a pass when they let us down and of course friends go easy on friends when they insert their foot in their mouth at the office party.
But sin…that’s different.
Sin robs, destroys, disfigures, disgraces.
Sin causes death – of dreams, hopes, the future, innocence, life.
How do you undo that? How do you make amends for that? How do you atone for sin?
“Taking responsibility” for our sin is a worthy deed but it doesn’t undo anything.
Restitution and reparation are certainly called for as evident of a repentant heart.
But to truly atone for our sins…
- To experience forgiveness (even if others will not forgive us)
- To experience peace (even if the one who sinned against us does not express remorse)
- To have hope that good can still come from our worst deeds
- To know that even beyond death, life can triumph
This is beyond the scope and measure of any man or women. No amount of therapy, flagellation, prison time, or punishment can atone for the pain and lost of sin.
No, there’s only one option, one way, one chance…
The ONE THING for today: Victim or perpetrator, offended or offender…no matter which side of the issue you find yourself, the only ultimate hope of atonement, resolution and peace from the horrible burden and damage of sin is found through Jesus’ atoning death at Calvary.