Published June 7, 2011
Recently I came across this powerful devotional by Pastor Bill and wanted to share it with you. It's an excellent reminder of pardons both historical and "the ultimate" pardon. Someday time on this earth will end. Have you accepted your pardon?
The Ultimate Pardon
Scripture: Romans 4:9 "Blessed are they whose sins are forgiven, whose wrongs are pardoned."
Many pardons have been controversial. President Andrew Johnson pardoned thousands of former Confederate officials and military personnel after the American Civil War. President Gerald Ford pardoned President Nixon for the Watergate Scandal. President Jimmy Carter granted a full pardon of amnesty to Vietnam-era draft dodgers.
The story is told of a young man caught and found guilty of murder many decades ago, and sentenced to death. His mother and father loved him with all their hearts, and they appealed to everyone they met for leniency for their son. Finally in desperation they appealed to the Governor of their state for a lesser sentence, but to everyone's surprise the Governor granted this young man a full pardon.
A pardon is a document that essentially erases a crime, making it as if it never happened. The pardon was sent to the prison, with instructions to release him. When the Warden told the young man about the pardon, he became angry and said, "I'm guilty, I murdered another human being and I want to die."
"But," the Warden replied, "I have your pardon in my hand!" No matter how the Warden pleaded, the prisoner kept demanding to die. Not knowing what to do, the Warden appealed to a prominent Judge, to help him figure this out. The Judge said, "A pardon is not a pardon unless it is accepted!"
So, the young man was ultimately executed. He had been completely forgiven for his sins against humanity. So why did he die? "Because a pardon is not a pardon unless it is accepted!"
Jesus died in the place of every human being, who by their sins against God were deserving of the death penalty. Every human being who would ever live has been granted an unconditional pardon from God. But the catch is that you must WANT the pardon; you and I must see the need for the pardon and desire to have it! The pardon from God came when Jesus Christ God's Son died on the cross for our sins. To accept the pardon means that I must believe that Jesus did this for me and to accept Him therefore as my Savior and ask Him to be Lord of my life.
"Almost persuaded to be a Christian is like the man who was almost pardoned, but he was hanged. A man that is almost saved is damned." - Charles H. Spurgeon
Your pardon awaits.
(See other articles by Pastor Bill at http://www.hallelujah3.org)
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