If you have ever had a mortgage, car loan, or college bill maybe you have experienced something wonderful – paying it off! There is a great burden involved with having a debt to pay back on a monthly basis. We know that we agreed to borrow the money, but we just wish we could get out from under that weight. If we keep paying, eventually it will be paid in full. The relief that brings is amazing. Yet, we know that there will always be more expenses to pay.
Perhaps you have been to a restaurant and a friend or even a stranger ended up paying your bill. You expected to pay it yourself but were surprised to learn that it was paid in full. What a treat! Soon, we will need to buy more food.
When it comes to God, the truth is that he provides for us in a way that is much different than paying off a loan or having a meal paid for. It is better by far. We work hard to pay off loans or basic bills. We must put an effort into it. In the case of someone paying for us, it’s a wonderful thing. However, we had the means to pay it off and were prepared to do so. God pays in full because we cannot possibly pay our sin debt.
The Bible says, “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). You may be a good and decent person. But no one is good enough to please a holy God. Our shortcomings and sins separate us. Thankfully, He is also a God of mercy. That is the reason Jesus, the Son of God, left Heaven to become a human. His death on the cross paid our sin debt once and for all. And the resurrection of Jesus from the dead means that we too can be alive forever with God.
One statement in the Bible describes this being dead and alive again in the context of our debt. “And you, who were dead in your trespasses ... God made alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses, by canceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This he set aside, nailing it to the cross” (Colossians 2:13-14 ESV). This is great news. The cross cancels the debt. Jesus paid it all! He did so “once for all when he offered up himself” (Hebrews 7:27 ESV).
Like any gift, there is no cost to you. However, it does not benefit you until you reach out and receive it. “As many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name” (John 1:12). Believing in Jesus simply means trusting that Jesus has settled your sin debt, and asking God to forgive you.
There's a little song that says it all:
"He paid a debt He did not owe,
I owed a debt I could not pay,
I needed someone to wash my sins away,
and now I sing that brand new song,
amazing grace all day long,
for Jesus paid a debt that I could never pay."
He's waiting to hear from you and to stamp your bill forever - “paid in full!”