Forgiveness is a legal matter.
Many people look at their lives and see comparative good behaviour, nothing deserving punishment, perhaps a little correction here and there, but certainly not eternal death and separation from God. Why would someone who has done their best under the circumstances, deserve punishment ?
If forgiveness is a legal matter then it doesn’t concern me, I haven’t done too bad.
I can understand murderers, rapists, molesters deserving punishment. They have hearts as black as night. They are evil to the core, satan’s offspring wreaking havoc on the earth, consumed with their own twisted pleasures.
The legal system needs to concentrate on them.
James 2:10 says “For whoever keeps the whole law, and yet stumbles in one point, he has become guilty of all.” Wait a minute, that can’t be right… that would make me as guilty as a murderer, as evil as a satanic child molester… that just can’t be right. I’ve never done anything nearly that bad.., never even thought about it… it just can’t be right.
It would mean I am subject to the full force of the legal system.
But we think, “if Christ came to pay the legal punishment due for my sins then the lashings with the whip and the beating with sticks might have covered it… His death wouldn’t have been necessary in my case ???”
However, if He came to pay the legal penalty required to remove my sinful nature, that’s another matter. It is my sinful nature that puts me in the same class as murderers and molesters, because my spirit is either born of God or born of satan. I am either a child of God or a child of the devil, there are no other lines of parentage, no other family tree.
And the only way the blackness, devoid of all goodness, my depraved sinful nature could be dealt with, is that Christ would carry it with Him into death. That is what He did. Gal. 2:20 tells me “I have been crucified with Christ, I no longer live but Christ lives in me”.
Once my sinful nature was crucified with Him, then He injected my dead spirit with His divine adrenaline, His very own life – and I was born again of God, an eternal being, perfect, righteous, dare I say as holy as God Himself.
Forgiveness as it relates to my eternal destiny is more than a pardon from my worst days, it is a blood transfusion from the very fountain of life.