Lent 14 (2012)–Guilty Until Proven Innocent

Luke 13:1 Now there were some present at that time who told Jesus about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mixed with their sacrifices. 2 Jesus answered, “Do you think that these Galileans were worse sinners than all the other Galileans because they suffered this way? 3 I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish. 4 Or those eighteen who died when the tower in Siloam fell on them– do you think they were more guilty than all the others living in Jerusalem? 5 I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish.”

I recently had a shopping experience where the cashier forgot to give me one bag of my items.  I discovered soon afterward that some of the most expensive items I bought (and really wanted!) were in that bag.  So I called the retailer who told me that the manager would have to look at the tape from the transaction, but that they’d call me back after they looked at it.

Over an hour went by with no return call, so I decided to give up, go to the store with my receipt, and get the items that I’d paid for.  When I arrived at customer service, I began the long wait while everyone assumed I was guilty of trying to scam the store instead of being the loyal customer who shops there every week who simply didn’t get what she paid for.  They reviewed the tape and found that the cashier had forgotten to give me the very bag of items I was missing.  It was 2 hours of time during which I was (wrongly) considered guilty until proven innocent.

I was angry.  After all, no one who is actually innocent likes to be considered guilty.

If God were to review the tape of my life, no matter how much I might protest that I’d lived a pretty good and moral life and should be considered innocent, God’s review of the tape would show my life was a mixture of sin and goodness.  He couldn’t call the guilty innocent.

Today’s passage of Scripture reveals the very same truth: you and I start off as sinners and therefore we are guilty, having no innocence of our own to stand on.  Our only way of escape is what God provided.  Jesus paid for our sins and we gain His righteousness only by repenting and believing in Him.

Jesus looked at the lives of the Galileans and those killed in the collapse of the tower of Siloam and saw they were guilty sinners.  Did they die because they were worse than anyone else?

No, they died because of sin…the number one killer of human beings since the fall of man. 

Ironically, it’s the most curable killer because its effects were overcome by Jesus’ victory over death on the Cross.

This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe.

There is no difference, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,

and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. (Romans 3: 22-24)

For further thought and meditation:

In a world that is perishing and “Guilty until Proven Innocent,” have you repented of sin and embraced God’s Way of Escape through faith in Jesus Christ?

Categories Articles and Devotionals, Devotionals | Tags: | Posted on March 8, 2012

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