Plead 'Guilty' and be acquitted!

Week beginning: 19th March, 2017 | By Gerard Chrispin | Surrey

"He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed" 1 Peter 2:24 (ESV)

"But he was pierced for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his wounds we are healed" Isaiah 53:5 (ESV)

1 Peter 2:24 (ESV); Isaiah 53:5 (ESV)

Plead 'Guilty' and be acquitted!

Never! How can that be?

The simple definition of a 'crime' which I heard many years ago as a first year Law undergraduate was 'A crime is an offence against the state punishable at the instigation of the state.' The concepts of crime and punishment are intertwined.

The prisoners I preach to each week say, 'You do the crime – you do the time', and are shocked to hear that the Highest Judge of all can acquit if there is a guilty plea blended with appropriate sorrow for the wrongs committed and a determination to turn from such wrongs.

But when I tell them that the same Judge has stepped down from the Bench, into the dock, and has taken the penalty such offenders deserved, in their place, they are amazed.

How can this possibly be?

There is only one answer. The Bible teaches that the Lord Jesus Christ willingly 'bore our sins in his body' when He died as our substitute on the cross. Though innocent of any sin, the incarnate Son of God accepted being 'smitten by God and afflicted' when 'He was pierced for our transgressions' and 'crushed for our iniquities' by His heavenly Father.

Now risen and ascended, He is willing to pardon, indwell by the Holy Spirit and give eternal life to all who call on Him for mercy and forgiveness.

Many prisoners seem to 'get it'. Do you?

For further reading 1 Peter 2:21-25 (ESV) and Isaiah 53:3-6 (ESV)

Prayer points:

1. Thank God for our wonderful salvation in Christ.

2. Share the message with others – lawyers or not.

3. Please pray for the preaching of the gospel in our troubled and needy prisons.