Paid in Full

Words can't express the relief I experienced when I finally received the title in the mail.

Out of necessity and desire, I purchased my first car when I was fourteen. I financed it for four long years which was all my teenage life. When the last few payments were in sight, finances became tight, so I re-financed it for two more years. High mileage dazzled the odometer by the time it was paid for, but it was a joyous day when the final payment was made.

Receiving the "Paid in Full" notice for something you've labored diligently to pay for is exhilarating, and the writer of Hebrews reminds us that Jesus made the final payment on our sin debt. "Unlike those other high priests, he does not need to offer sacrifices every day . . . But Jesus did this once for all when he offered himself as the sacrifice for the people's sins" (Hebrews 7:27 NLT).

I can only imagine what living in Old Testament times would've been like. Sacrifice after sacrifice . . . week after week . . . year after year. No assurance that what I was doing paid God anything in full . . . especially my sin debt. The good acts only covered my sin until a better payment could be made.

With Jesus' death on the cross, sin's payment was "Paid in Full." No more sacrifices are needed. I can't work to earn God's love, nor will he let me into heaven because of the good works I've done. This is what makes Christianity unique and separates it from other world religions. No grand scales. No tally list. Just a simple question: "What did you do with Jesus?"

My good deeds are only acts of appreciation for the ultimate price Christ paid for my salvation. Have you received your "Paid in Full" notice?

Prayer: We praise You Heavenly Father for sending Your Son to pay our sin debt in full. Help us live in the joy and freedom of forgiveness.

Martin Wiles
Hodges, South Carolina, USA

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