The day had finally come. I was nervous as a cat. My stomach was all upset, my brain was running non-stop with all sorts of thoughts, fears and worries. On the outside, I’d like to think I seemed calm, like I had it all together, without a care in the world.
That’s the thing about pride. It tends to look that way, when deep down, you want something so different you’re just too afraid to say anything because of how it will make you look.
I sat in the waiting area outside the courtroom. My stepdad, Mickey, was with me. I was supposed to go in and plead my case before the judge for my speeding, no seatbelt and expired license tickets. (That’s a whole other story, by the way).
I did not want to go in. What if the judge didn’t like what I had to say? I was terrified of what was to come. I looked at my stepdad and asked, “Is there any other way? Do I have to do this?”
“Well, you can always pay the fine and be done with it.” Those words were like sweet honey to my lips!
“I can just pay a fine and not have to go in there?”
I walked up to the window and asked how much the fine would be. It was more than $400.
Feeling defeated once again, I took my seat. I didn’t have that kind of money. I was in college, I was working in the library for work study and I was playing ball so there was no time for a job.
“I’ll pay half”, he said suddenly.
I looked up surprised and told him I would pay him back.
I jumped up, wrote out a check, paid the woman at the window and was out of there in just a few seconds.
I needed a way out. I could not bear to face the judgment that was before me. I begged for another way. And my father heard my pleas.
“Then cometh Jesus with them unto a place called Gethsemane, and saith unto the disciples, Sit ye here, while I go and pray yonder. And he took with him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, and began to be sorrowful and very heavy. Then saith he unto them, My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death: tarry ye here, and watch with me. And he went a little further, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt.” (Matthew 26:36-39)
I feel there is no other place in scripture that shows Jesus as a man more than this passage. How “human” for Him, the Son of God, who was before time began, to ask for another way.
“If it be possible…” is there any other way? If so, let it be! Jesus knew what was before Him. He knew the punishment that would be poured out on Him. He knew the pain, anguish, and torture that was ahead. Like any man, He felt the weight of it all and pleaded with the Lord for another way.
But He did something I never could. He said, “nevertheless… not my will but thine.”
“Yet, I want your will to be done, not mine.”
“Even if you don’t take this from me, I will still do your will.”
For Jesus, there was no other way. The debt had to be paid, but He couldn’t simply walk up to a window and cut a check. He had to be the one to pay the penalty.
And it wasn’t even His fault.
He didn’t commit those sins. But they would be poured out on Him. The weight of the sins of the world would be on His shoulders.
My sins. It was my sins that put Him there. It was my sins that kept Him from any alternative. Mine. The fine was mine to pay, but He took it all on Himself.
I’m grateful my father stepped in to pay that debt so that I could be freed from the sin and punishment and RUN FREE!
We all have sinned and fall short of God’s glory. Our sins have earned us death. That’s what awaits us. But Jesus stepped in and paid our debt in full so that we could be free. He paid with His life. He conquered death and Hell so they can’t have a hold on us anymore… if only we will trust Him.
Confess your sins to God. Ask for His forgiveness. Repent of your sins (turn away) with the Lord’s help. Ask Him to save you.