walk in the word
Forgiveness, God’s Character, Sin / Suffering / Satan
For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. Hebrews 4:15
I just finished reading John Grisham’s new book, The Innocent Man. Usually a fiction writer, Grisham was so impacted by the story of Ron Williamson that he crossed over and wrote an incredible account of injustice and final retribution.
In the story, Williamson, on a collision course with the consequences of sin, was nevertheless falsely accused, framed, and railroaded into prison for a rape/murder he did not commit. After 11 years on death row, including a stay of execution that arrived only hours before his scheduled death, Ron Williamson was finally exonerated. Emerging from death row a hollow shell of a man, he clung to life for a few years, and died holding on to the Lord with hope for eternal forgiveness through faith in Him.
As I read the book, I felt a holy anger welling up in my soul. The lies, the abuse, the mistreatment, the imprisonment, were each adamantly defended and perpetuated by mindless bureaucracy. Yet Ron was not truly innocent. He was punished for something he did not do, but he had done many other awful things.
Only Jesus Christ is a truly innocent man. Only Jesus Christ lived a life of sinless perfection and took upon Himself a punishment that was entirely unwarranted. Jesus took my punishment so that I could be forgiven. He deserved none of it and He took all of it. To meditate upon the injustice of Christ’s suffering should cause a holy anger to well up within my soul. And further, it should cause a determined recommitment to live a life of grateful holiness. The greatest injustice of all would be to continue in the sin from which Jesus suffered to set me free.
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