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Foundations For Our Future #43

Foundations for Our Future (43)

by: The Rev. Dr. Jon Shuler

Before we move on to a new subject we must pray over one more verse (Matthew 5:26), and once again we are drawn up short. Jesus explicitly states that if we are unwilling to be reconciled with someone we have wronged, we will “never get out until [we] have paid the last penny.” What can he mean?

First, the terror of the declaration should move us to a deep quiet of soul. Jesus is not fooling around. He is telling us that God almighty will require recompense for our sins. The idea that somehow we just have all our sins wiped away at the judgment, no matter what we have done in this life, is not biblical. There will be be a reckoning.

I know that for many of us, the last sentence will be upsetting. We have internalized a part of the truth but not the whole. Yes, it is true that the Lord Jesus took the penalty of our sins upon himself. We could never atone for them, not one of us. But it is not true that it does not then matter how we live. We are not to “sin that grace may abound.” (Romans 6:1)

The many subjects this truth brings up are not, today, before our eyes. What is before us is the terrible solemnity of consequence for unreconciled relationships in the body of Christ. There will be a penalty for it. A penalty that will have to be paid by the sinner.