Tuesday, November 20, 2012
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One of the most frequent visitors at our house is a fellow called "bill." Yeah, every month lots bills come to our home uh-huh; probably bills that you see come to your house frequently too. But there's one bill I'll never forget. One of our children had needed the attention of a medical specialist, and it cost a lot and the bills were coming.
And since he was a caring Christian brother, and he understood a little bit about a ministry income, he was pretty gracious. He put us on this extended pay plan. The bill came regularly and we were trying to pay it off in those little installments. Then one day the bill came showing the large amount we still owed, except this bill had three words stamped on it by the amount we owed: Paid In Full.
I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "Three Words on Your Bill."
Now, our word for today from the Word of God comes from John 19. I'll begin reading at verse 28. The scene is Skull Hill outside of Jerusalem. "Later, knowing that all was now completed, and so that the Scripture would be fulfilled, Jesus said, 'I am thirsty.' A jar of wine vinegar was there, so they soaked a sponge in it, put the sponge on a stalk of the hyssop plant, and lifted it to Jesus' lips. When he had received the drink, Jesus said, 'It is finished.' With that, he bowed his head and gave up his spirit."
Now, if you and I were reading those verses in the original language of the New Testament, the Greek language, when we got to "It is finished" we would just read one word "tetelestai." They actually found that word in an archeologist's dig some years ago. It was a tax collector's office that had been buried under layers. And they found it pretty much as it had been the day that tax collector died apparently. They went in and they saw the various slates that were stacked up, and there was one stack that was obviously the people who still had a debt. That had already paid. There was one word on top of it: tetelestai - paid in full.
When Jesus died for you and shouted, "It is finished!", in essence you know what He was saying? "Paid in full!" He was talking about your bill with God and mine; the darkness and the sin of our life, the way we've hijacked our lives - even the most religious of us - we've lived it for ourselves other than for Him. Every time you thought, or said, or did something outside of God's laws, well that's what Jesus was paying for. That's the bill that had to be paid; could only be paid by dying. It's a bill too big to pay! I don't know what religion you are. It doesn't matter. No religion on earth can pay it off. It would take an eternity away from God in hell to pay the penalty for that sin.
But that's the miracle of the cross. The One who was sinned against paid the penalty for that sin. Today you may be saying, "But could I really be forgiven even for that?" Jesus says, "It is finished." There's no sin He did not cover when He died. But you've got to do something with what He did for you. You go to that cross in your heart, renounce your sin, bow before Him and say, "Lord, I ask you to be my personal Savior for my personal sin."
If you've never done that, why not today? Why risk another day carrying the sin and the death penalty for it in your own soul, when it could all be gone if you cry out to Jesus and say, "I'm Yours." Our website has been set up just for a moment like this, where you can find what you need to know to be sure you've begun your relationship with Jesus. Go to it today, will you? It's YoursForLife.net.
A man I know stamped three incredible words on a huge debt, and Jesus wants to stamp those words on your bill with God: "Paid In Full." You don't ever have to carry the weight of your sin again, because Jesus said, "It is finished!"