Paying the Price for Another Person’s Sin
Last week, on the day before Thanksgiving, my husband was heading to an appointment when a truck came from out of nowhere and careened into his car, literally tearing off the bumper. It turned out that the person driving the vehicle was not a legal American resident, did not have a driver’s license, and did not have car insurance.
So, that means in order for our car to get fixed, my husband had to report it to our insurance, and we will have to ‘pay the price’ for something that in no way was his fault, but was completely the fault of the other driver.
What are some of the costs we’ll have to pay? Of course there’s the actual out-of- pocket financial costs like our deductible. In addition, our insurance premium will likely increase. We’ll also have to absorb the depreciation of our car that now will show on CARFAX that’s it’s been in a wreck, and the resultant lowered resale value. There’s also the ‘cost’ of our time: the time it will take to get our car to a body shop for an estimate and for it to be in the shop getting worked on. There’s the hassle and inconvenience of going without a car for the time it’s in the shop. There’s the inability to get the car fixed quickly due to the body shop’s busy schedule and supply chain issues. Until it’s fixed, our car can’t be driven anywhere at nighttime due to the headlights being compromised. There’s even the time cost of my husband missing and having to reschedule the appointment he was on his way to when the accident occurred.
And the driver of the vehicle will be paying nothing of the costs we are incurring for his recklessness. He probably has no clue—and may not even have given a second thought— to the damage he caused and what we’re having to go through to get the car fixed.
I think you might agree with me and my husband in thinking that everything about this situation screams, “It’s so unfair!”
Have you ever been in a similar situation? Have you ever had to bear the cost for someone else’s poor choice or action?
Jesus Paid the Penalty for My Sin, and Yours
As I considered how incredibly unfair it was that we were having to pay the price for the recklessness of an illegal, unlicensed, uninsured driver, I felt rage welling up within me. This was the third time in just the last few years that either my husband or I had been driving a car when we were hit by a person driving without insurance; two of the three times by illegal residents without licenses. I was incensed!
And then… I heard the Holy Spirit speak to my heart, “Have you truly considered how unfair it was that Jesus, Who was sinless, paid the price for your sin while you were yet a sinner? He willingly paid the penalty for your sin by dying the death you deserved to die….and paid a debt you could never repay.
I was immediately humbled and convicted of my sin against a Holy and Righteous God! The costs my husband and I would be paying for the other drivers’ ‘sin’ against us were absolutely NOTHING compared to the price Jesus paid to set me free from the death penalty my sin deserves! I considered that Jesus gave up all of the glories of heaven to come to earth to take on flesh and be born a man; He endured living among sinful men and women who rejected, mocked, abandoned, and scourged Him; and He willingly chose to die an excruciatingly painful, shameful death on a cross. Why would He Who was sinless do that for sinful mankind? He did it so that all who would put their faith in Him could become reconciled and have fellowship with a holy God. Talk about unfair!!!
For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. 2 Corinthians 5:21 ESV
So, when you’re tempted—as I certainly was—to become angry when you have to pay for the ‘sin’ that someone else commits against you, I encourage you to STOP. Stop and consider all that Jesus willingly endured to pay a debt you could never pay.
Through Faith in Christ You’re Made a Child of God, and His Heir!
Jesus’ death and resurrection didn’t just wipe the slate clean and mean forgiveness and removal of sin for all who would believe in His atoning death. If that were all His death and resurrection purchased for us, it would be more than enough—certainly way more than we deserved!! But in His lavish love for us, God also gave to all who put their faith in His atoning death the right to become His children, and His heirs.
But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God. John 1:12-13 ESV
One of the greatest gifts we’ve been given as believers is the Holy Spirit Who lives in every believer. The Holy Spirit leads and guides us into all truth, convicts us of our sin and of Jesus’ righteousness, counsels and comforts us, and bears witness to us that we are indeed God’s children and heirs. (Ephesians 1:13; John 14:16; 26;16:8-9)
The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him. Romans 8:16-17 ESV
Unlike an earthly inheritance, our inheritance in Christ, ‘can never perish, spoil or fade’. (1 Peter 1: 4) So, what is our inheritance? On earth it includes things like forgiveness of our sin, power over sin, peace with God, fellowship with the Body of Christ, joy even in the midst of trials and tribulation, the awareness of His unfailing love, comfort and hope as we consider that the ‘light momentary affliction’ on earth is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison’. (2 Corinthians 4:17) And in heaven, where we will receive our ‘full inheritance’, we will have no more tears, sorrow, pain or death. Instead, we will have ‘fullness of joy and pleasures forevermore’ for we will continually be in the presence of our Savior and Lord! (Psalm 16:11) We can’t even begin to fathom this side of eternity all that God has prepared for us as His heirs! (1 Corinthians 2:9) And we can be assured of this glorious inheritance because of the Holy Spirit Who ‘is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it’. (Ephesians 1:14 ESV)
Rejoice in His ‘Unfairness’ to You, Extend His Mercy to Others
As you celebrate Jesus this Christmas season—not only His birth, but also the reason for His birth— may you and I rejoice that God chose to respond to us and our sin in a way that was utterly ‘unfair’. May we continually have a heart overflowing with gratitude that God didn’t give us what we deserve, which is death, damnation, and eternal separation from Him. May praise always be in our hearts and on our lips to Jesus Who sacrificed His very life to pay the debt for our sin, and in doing so not only paid the price for us to receive forgiveness from our sin, but also gave us the right and privilege of being made His children and fellow heirs with Christ! And may we through the power of the Holy Spirit Who dwells in us, extend the same grace, mercy and love to others that God lavished upon us, even while they are yet sinners.