Guilty as Charged!

This one’s a no-brainer, even if it was a hot, steamy afternoon. Twenty-year-old Sean Schmidt from Buffalo, New York, was racing down I-190 this week with a friend, when the open sunroof proved a temptation too strong. Suddenly standing up on the passenger seat, Sean pushed half his body through the opening into the glorious rushing air. And there he remained. Until a state trooper raced up behind him with cruiser lights flashing. Doomed, Sean crawled back into the car, grabbed a small bag of marijuana and tossed it out before being pulled over. Unfortunately for Sean the bag landed on the trooper’s cruiser. Guilty on both counts—not wearing a seat belt and possession of marijuana. Let’s face it—sometimes our guilt is  a no-brainer. The evidence is simply too obvious. “Guilty as charged—on all counts.” My conscience knows well that familiar verdict. No doubt yours does, too. Which is why Calvary is such compelling good news for all of us sinners. “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8 NIV). The charges were dropped while we were as guilty as Sean Schmidt! In fact, before we even pleaded guilty. “By His wonderful work in giving His life, [Jesus] restored the whole race of man to favor with God” (I SM 343). Two thousand years before we were born, Christ by his death restored the human race to favor with God—all charges dropped—it is the astounding truth of this God who “justifies the ungodly” (Romans 4:5). And it is this truth we, who are ungodly and guilty, must receive here at the foot of the cross. “For since we were restored to friendship with God by the death of his Son while we were still his enemies, we will certainly be delivered from eternal punishment by his life . . . all because of what our Lord Jesus Christ has done for us in making us friends of God” (Romans 5:10, 11 NLT). Can you believe it! For the likes of you and me and Sean Schmidt, that this is the best news of all is the greatest no-brainer of all, isn’t it?