Jesus is enough

Several years ago I received a phone call from my wife that made me cringe.  On her way to work that morning she had been pulled over by a state trooper and was issued a speeding ticket.  If you've ever been pulled over by a state trooper then you know that they can be some of the most pleasant off all law enforcement officers, yet they rarely if ever let you off with a warning.  You are getting a ticket no matter how hard you plead your case.

We were in a situation of life where we had just had our first child and money was tight, so the extra insurance premium was not going to be a welcome addition.  I had a friend who was a state trooper, so I called him for advice on how best to handle the ticket.  He asked me details about the ticket - who was the trooper who wrote it, how fast was my wife driving, etc. - and then he told me that he would have to get back to me.

Later that afternoon after my wife had returned home from work, an unmarked state trooper car appeared in my driver.  My friend that I had phoned earlier knocked on my door and he immediately asked to see the ticket.  Then, as if we had invited him over for tea and crumpets, he began to chat us up about all sorts of things completely unrelated to the ticket.  It really was a pleasant visit, but my thoughts kept going back to this ticket and how we were going to handle it.

After about 10 minutes he turned to leave with the ticket in his hand, but before he got to the door I asked once again what we needed to do about the ticket.  He then told me something that absolutely floored me.  My friend had gotten in touch with the state trooper who issued the ticket and, after speaking to him for a few minutes, he agreed to dismiss the ticket as long as both me and my wife would promise to slow down our driving habits.  That was it.  No court, no extra insurance premiums, no legal hassles.  This state trooper had erased the speeding ticket, offering to us undeserved grace and sparing us from the penalty that we owed.

Take a look at these words that Paul writes in Colossians 2:13-14:
And when you were dead in trespasses and in the uncircumcision of your flesh, He made you alive with Him and forgave us all our trespasses. He erased the certificate of debt, with its obligations, that was against us and opposed to us, and has taken it out of the way by nailing it to the cross.
The above verses in Colossians were written to a group of Christian believers who were being told by "philosophers" that salvation included more than just the debt that Jesus paid on the cross.  They were being told that they had to do other things to secure their salvation.  But Paul makes it very clear when he writes that we must "be careful that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deceit based on human tradition, based on the elemental forces of the world, and not based on Christ." (Colossians 2:8) 

Just as my wife and I didn't need to plead our case before a judge, we don't have to try to stand before God one day and convince Him of our righteousness.  It would never work if we did.  Instead, Jesus nailed our debt to the cross and erased our certificate of death that our sin had built up against us.  That was it.  No trying to earn God's favor to get into heaven, no endless striving to earn favor with God.  Just Jesus, taking upon Himself a debt that He did not owe so that we wouldn't have to pay a fine that couldn't possibly pay.  Jesus is enough. 

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