The payment for sin has been paid in full

Published 5:15 am Sunday, April 3, 2022

Many years ago, the story was told of Nicolas II, czar of Russia. He had the habit of disguising himself at times and visiting his military outposts for the purpose of evaluating them.
In one of his outposts was a young man whose father had enlisted him in the military with the hope of putting some discipline and direction into his life.
However, army life served as fuel that fed the fires of the wild life he lived.
One of this young soldier’s weaknesses was gambling.
It so happened that he was also the bookkeeper at his particular outpost.
As his gambling debts grew, he found it necessary to pilfer some of the outpost’s funds to pay his debts.
Instead of hitting it rich, however, he continued to go deeper into debt to the outpost’s treasury.
One night, he decided to add up all the debts and see how much he owed.
When he saw the immense debt, he decided to commit suicide.
He took out his gun and wrote across the ledger, “So great a debt. Who can pay?”
As he contemplated suicide, he dozed off to sleep.
Czar Nicolas II was inspecting the outpost that night, disguised as an officer of low rank.
Seeing a light burning in the bookkeeper’s shack, he went to investigate.
Inside the shack, he saw the man with the gun in his lap and the writing on the ledger.
Immediately, he understood the situation.
When the soldier awoke from his sleep, he put the gun to his head.
For a moment, he stared at the ledger and read these words, “So great a debt. Who can pay?”
Underneath those words were these, “Paid in full, Czar Nicolas II!”
Likewise, sin has a way of piling up and accumulating a huge debt that we cannot pay ourselves.
In 1988, the Cathedrals Quartet recorded a song entitled “Sin Will Take You Farther,” and the chorus says, “Sin will take you farther than you want to go – slowly, but wholly, taking control.
Sin will leave you longer than you want to stay… sin will cost you far more than you want to pay.”
However, the good news is: there is a way out!
The Bible tells us in Ephesians 1:7, “In (Christ) we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace.”
Redemption means ‘payment of ransom.’
Contrary to some beliefs – Jesus did not ransom us from Satan. We are not being held hostage by the devil.
In order to understand the ultimate price of sin we must first understand the righteousness of God.
Imagine God as a righteous, holy Judge who holds us accountable for our sins.
We are under a sentence of eternal death and damnation because of our sin.
But when God sees the blood of Jesus, He is satisfied that the payment for our sin has been paid.
Since the release of the film “The Passion of the Christ,” there has been an ongoing debate over who killed Jesus. Was it the Jews? Was it the Romans?
Isaiah 53:4 tells us, “Surely he bore our grief, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.”
When Jesus died on the cross, He cried out: “It is finished,” meaning: “Paid in full.”
The ransom was paid… redemption was completed!
You, my friend, are the true passion of Christ and your sin debt can be paid in full today if you’ll dedicate your life to serving Him.

Rev. Doug Johnson is the senior pastor at Raven Assembly of God in Raven, Virginia.

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