Pardon Me Please

 

Read: Psalm 103:8-18      

Pastor Tony Evans shares a true story that happened in the year 1929.  A man named George Wilson robbed a mail carrier and killed him.  He was sentenced to die but received a presidential pardon.  To the shock of the Oval Office, he rejected the pardon.  The president of the United States had set him free.  George Wilson said no.  The case went to the Supreme Court and the issue was simply this:  If the president of the United States gives you a pardon, aren’t you pardoned?

Can you reject a pardon given by a sovereign?  Chief Justice Marshall rendered the decision.  It simply read:  “A pardon rejected is no pardon at all.  Unless the recipient of the pardon accepts the pardon, then the pardon cannot be applied.”  A pardon has two sides, the offeror and the offeree.  Unless the offeree accepts the offer, then the pardon cannot be mandated.

On the cross of Calvary just outside of Jerusalem over 2,000 years ago, the sacrifice of God’s son Jesus has offered everyone a pardon for their sins.  But in order to receive that pardon we have to accept it and believe that our sins are truly forgiven under the grace of God.  In Psalm 103:12 the Bible says, “As far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us.”

Going back in time, many of us can remember blackboards in our classroom.  One of the beautiful things about the blackboard was if you made a mistake with chalk, there was always an eraser to rid yourself of the error.  Forgiveness works the same way.  It is the cancellation of something.  It is the deletion of an error.  It is the ability to erase a mistake and start over again.

All of us have sinned.  All of us need the grace and forgiveness that God offers to us through Jesus Christ.  Don’t beat yourself up over your past sins and failures.  Instead repent of them to Jesus and ask for his unconditional grace to pardon you and set you free.  Then move forward in the life that Jesus desires for you.  Psalm 103 has much more to say about God’s love and grace for you.  Take some time this week to read it.

Make it personal:  What mistakes and failures continue to weigh you down?  Have you prayed to Jesus and asked him to pardon and forgive you for those things?  We may not have many blackboards around anymore but the delete button on our keyboards is the same type of correction.  If you receive the grace of Jesus he will delete that sin forever.  Hope is just ahead!

Have a great week, Glen Rhodes, Arthur Mennonite Church