Yesterday, I went to the Jefferson County Courthouse to make a donation to their Judicial Department. Okay, I went down there to pay my traffic fine. As I was waiting for the court clerk to pull my file I noticed the labels on the outside of the files. There were files for warrants, hot checks and active criminals. I watched as the clerk sorted through the Active Criminal file and she pulled out the file for John Cheney. I was appalled. I am not a criminal. It is a speeding ticket for crying out loud! “Why was I in the Active Criminal File?”, I asked myself. Then I realized, because I broke the law. I was a criminal. Criminals break laws, even if it is “only” speeding.
I began to think about how we are all Active Criminals apart from the grace of God. We are law-breakers! Breaking the commandments of His book. According to the Bible, murderers and those who are sinfully angry are both criminals, even if the offense seems different. When we break God’s law we must go before the Judge. We must enter our plea of guilty. But wait there is a good part to this criminal case against us. We have the best lawyer. I John Chapter 2 reminds us that when we do sin, there is an Advocate, Jesus Christ the Righteous who represents us before the Judge. In fact, it is Jesus Christ, who paid our fines at court. The wages of sin is death, BUT the gift of God is eternal life through Christ. God commended His love toward us that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
We are considered active criminals when we sin, but thank God for someone who will represent us. When we enter our plea of guilty (confession) God is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. We are no longer in the Active Criminal file…our file has been place in file 13.