Driving home on the interstate one night, I was passed by an SUV doing well over the speed limit. No innocent to speeding myself, I looked down at my speedometer and recognized that the other vehicle was doing twenty to thirty miles over the speed limit.
The car was well ahead of me a few miles later when I noticed the state police car with its lights off roll out from behind a patch of brush and enter the highway. It too peeled off in a hurry, and I wondered if the officer would catch the speeding SUV.
A few minutes later, I came across the two vehicles… just as the SUV pulled away! There was no way that the officer had time to write up a ticket or even pass out a warning. What could possibly have caused him to release the vehicle that he’d caught dead to rights?
Was the driver on the way to the hospital with a woman in labor?
Was there a fire, and the speeding SUV was full of firefighters?
(Was the motor vehicle driven by the family member of a police officer?… Had to ask.)
I’ll never know. But it did make me reflect on my own journey of faith, and what salvation looks like on a really simple scale.
Adam and Eve sinned in the Garden of Eden by disobeying God, and were expelled from perfect paradise. Because of that, I’m dealing with “original sin,” or sin that impacts us all.
Let’s face it: I’m human, I make mistakes I don’t know about and I do things I shouldn’t, compounding my wrestling match with sin.
Because of all that, I’m dead to rights guilty. I’m well over the speed limit, I’m guilty of more than just speeding but I’ve been reckless in the way I lived my life.
Based on the laws of the Old Testament, I should die and be stuck in my situation. I should have no hope of anything better than that.
But then God sends Jesus, and Jesus dies on the cross. He pays the price for all of my mistakes and my sin, and for yours too even if you don’t ‘get’ it, and because of God’s great love for him and for us, he raises Jesus from the dead.
So when the law comes up beside me, knocks on the window, and shines the flashlight in my face, the only card I need to show is printed clear as day: “Loved. Redeemed. Forgiven, signed, Jesus.”