Thank you, Lord, for:
Lunch and a movie with Whitty
My parents - lunch with them and Whitty at the mall.
Finishing a book
Visiting with Brenda
New workout songs and exercises
Seeing sweet Truett
When a debt was owed in the first century, a “certificate” of the debt was made, much like the notice placed above Jesus’ head. When the obligation was settled, it was officially resolved with a single Greek word placed upon the parchment’s face: tetelestai. It meant completed, paid, finished, done. Archaeologists have unearthed ancient receipts that have been “canceled out” in this way using the word tetelestai or its abbreviation.
... Hidden to all but the Father is another certificate “nailed,” so to speak, to that same cross. The Story says it is a record not of Jesus’ debt, but a rap sheet, of sorts, “consisting of decrees against US,” that is, against you and me. It is a record of debts that will be displayed before the world at the very end of the Story, at a great judgment of all the dead who stand before an imposing, white throne and are put on trial. Each of the dead is judged by his own behavior, not by comparing one person with another but simply by a raw accounting of each person’s conduct recorded in books open for all to see. Every misdeed has been logged, every sin has been written down, and every careless word has been noted.
There is a reason for this dark event at the close of history. As we have seen, if God is good, he must punish the guilty, and if he is good he can punish only the guilty.... Now, that may be comforting to those who count on faring well in the final assessment, but that is only because they do not quite realize how their lives will actually look when the light shines brightly into every corner, and every act, motive, and desire is laid bare before God and the world....
In the same way, none will find safe harbor in his own merit since all things hidden will be revealed, and the Story is quite clear on this point. In the final reckoning, every man will be shown to be a debtor to God—something each of us already knows deep in our own hearts.
Before that white throne, each person who is judged by his own behavior is found guilty,.... It will be clear to all that God is justified when he speaks and blameless when he judges....No one escapes the guilty verdict save those whose names are written in another book that is also opened, the Book of Life. Those listed there are as guilty as the rest, to be sure, but their debt is not held to their account. It has already been paid. Their rap sheets, their lists of decrees against them, have been nailed to Jesus’ cross, their ponderous chronicle of offenses pinned upon Christ himself. Jesus told us to pray, “Father, forgive us our debts . . .” This is how God is able to do that.
In the darkness that shrouds Calvary from the sixth to the ninth hour, a divine transaction is taking place. Jesus makes a trade with the Father. Punishment adequate for all the crimes of all of humanity—every murder, every theft, every lustful glance, every hidden act of vice, every modest moment of pride, every monstrous deed of evil—punishment adequate for every crime of every man or woman who ever lived, Jesus takes upon himself as if he is guilty of all.
...to be continued next week...
The Story of Reality, by Greg Koukl