I almost made it through 30 years of life without getting a traffic ticket. But almost doesn’t count. Just a few weeks ago I was pulled over for an expired tag and registration. I didn’t remember receiving a reminder in the mail but sure enough when I got home and looked through the mail, there it was . . . still unopened.
So there I was with a perfect driving record of almost 15 years . . . tainted. Also, the $25 ticket included almost $200 in court costs. I dreaded the day my court case arrived. It would only serve to remind me of my mistake and the high price I was obligated to pay because of it.
As I walked into the courthouse I realized I was not alone. It wasn’t even 9:00am and the halls filled with traffic violators like myself. We were told to line up depending on our infraction. When I finally got to the front of the line a sweet woman asked me why I was there.
“Expired registration” I said as I handed her my paperwork. “But here is my updated registration and driver’s license”. I continued.
She took my items and looked them over thoroughly.
She then flipped through a stack of pages, found my name, and crossed it off the list.
“You’re free to go.” She said handing me back my paperwork.
“So, I don’t have to pay anything?” I questioned.
“No, you’re free to go.” She responded.
I reluctantly turned to walk away, but then I remembered one important question:
“So is this going on my record? Will I get points on my driver’s license?” I asked.
“No, all your charges have been waved.” She answered.
It’s like it never even happened.
Relief swept over me. No price to pay AND no record of wrong.
I knew that I needed to remember this moment. I needed to remember this same feeling when I forget the Gospel. When I forget that my sins have been wiped clean and I’m free to go.
Not only are my sins forgiven but it’s as if they never happened. The Bible tells us: “God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” (2 Corinthians 5:21 NIV)
The righteousness of God is now ours.
When we think of salvation and the work of Christ on the cross we are reminded of the forgiveness of our sins. But we also must realize this salvation grants us the righteousness of Christ. All the good that Christ did when He walked this earth is ours too.
Now when God looks at us He not only sees a clean record, He sees His son. And this truth should set you free.
Free from the guilt of past mistakes, free from shame, regrets, and what others think of you. The darkness that was once in your life has been overpowered by the light of Christ.
So I encourage you, no matter your past, to shine bright and live free.