2 Corinthians 5
17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come:[a] The old has gone, the new is here! 18 All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: 19 that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. 20 We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God. 21 God made him who had no sin to be sin[b] for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.
I sped south in my blue Plymouth Fury on Rt 51 on my to a camp meeting church service. I wasn’t going because I was spiritual. It was the only legitimate possible place to find girls in my denomination. The rain was pounding the pavement and I sped faster as I was going to be late. In an absent-minded moment, my right wheel slipped off the road and I quickly over corrected as young drivers do and the car started spinning. I spun across the other lane of traffic which was fortunately empty of cars and came to rest backwards axles high in mud. I was speeding, I had two flat tires and a dented car. I was shaken by the experience. I knew that if there had been a car in the other lane I would probably have been killed instantly. It was my fault and I was without excuse.
I shook with fear as a tow truck came and pulled me to a place where I could get the tires fixed. I had no way to contact my parents who were already at the meeting. They were expecting me and were increasingly worried because of the storm and my absence. I finally was able to get my car back on the road and I decided to finish the trip to camp since I was most of the way there. I was so afraid of the reaction of my parents to my car and my stupidity of speeding in the rain. When I came in the building, the service was already over and I spotted my parents who ran toward me. I ducked my head fearing a barrage of judgement but instead my dad put his arms around me. He told me he had been worried and asked what happened. Instead of my parent’s scorn I received grace and they rejoiced that I was safe. “Not counting people’s sins against them.” This is what God did for us. He took us in when we were survivors from the wrecks we had made of our lives. He offered us grace and fellowship and took the punishment for us.
The amazing thing is that God allows us to offer this same kind of reconciliation to others. Broken people are looking for someone who will not count their past against them. We have the stunning opportunity to act on behalf of God and invite them to come into fellowship with Him. This is the gospel and it is very good news. Those of us who have escaped from the wreckage of life get to be like my dad and put our arms around people and say, “I’m so glad you are saved.”