Crime and Punishment, or Sin and Death
So, I never read the book Crime and Punishment, but it seemed like an appropriate title for this post.
If I were to commit a crime, it is quite obvious that a punishment would follow. Either a jury would vote, or a judge would make a ruling and a fine or prison time would be imposed. But perhaps, depending on the crime, that would not be where the punishment ends. The punishment would also be hurt friends and family, broken relationships and the like.
Sin works the same way. The ultimate punishment for sin is death, but we receive many earthly consequences for our sin as well. Often, our sins hurt well beyond what we think. We think, “well, it’s my choice, it only effects me.” Unfortunately, many times those choices effect others as well. Broken relationships. Hurt people. Consequences that continue well beyond what we would have thought.
God gave us two awesome gifts. Forgiveness and Grace.
Selah (I’ll try not to overuse that)
The punishment for sin may be death, but in Christ, there is no more sin, there is no more death! What’s more, he gave us the ability to forgive each other, so the relationships we hurt can be repaired. What a joy it is to be a child of God.
Back to Joseph. After his father had died, his brothers assumed he would now use his power in Egypt to punish them for what they had done to him. However, God had used the sins they committed against him for His glory, and Joseph was able to forgive his brothers. Not only did he forgive them, but he supported their families and gave them much more than they deserved. What a great picture of what Christ has done for us.
May God allow me to forgive like that.