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A Parking Ticket

January 9, 2013

Bitterwallet-appeal-parking-tickets1On the street where I work, it’s incredibly hard to find free, all-day parking, as a result you have to spend a lot of your day moving your vehicle between 1 hour and 2 hour bays. It’s incredibly frustrating and if you’re not on the ball you end up getting ticketed.

On one particular occasion I got ticketed when I hadn’t done anything wrong, I still had time left in the bay, and I could prove it. I was in fact innocent and so fought for my innocence and on this occasion I was rewarded.

However it got me thinking…

The way the system works is that if you break the rules and get caught then you get a ticket, which means you get a fine. At this point the onus is on you to deal with it. If you are guilty then you have to take responsibility to pay for that ticket. If you pay within the first 2 weeks it’s only £25, if you leave it until after that it’s £50, if you don’t do anything within 4 weeks then…well you’re in trouble.

Even if you are actually innocent the onus is still on you. You need to draft a letter of appeal, make contact with the right department within the city council, chase up your case (maybe a few times) and then eventually, if you’re lucky your fine is cancelled and you are let off the hook.

In many ways our position before God is similar. We have broken rules, and as such there is a penalty that needs to be paid, a hefty fine that is due as a result of our iniquity:

“…for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,” Romans 3 v 23

Each of us, whether we realise it or not have been caught out and found guilty, in fact, the bible says we have no excuses:

For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse. For although they knew God, they did not honour him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened.” Romans 1 v 18-21

The fine has been given, the penalty has been declared… and it’s a heavy one:

For the wages of sin is death…” Romans 6 v 23

There is however one massive difference, a difference that makes this analogy completely fall apart, and this difference is glorious!

In the above scenario I had to pursue the relevant department, it was up to me to chase up my case and fight for my innocence just so I could be let off a petty £25 fine.

You need to know that as you stand before a Holy God you have no defence, if the onus were on you then there would be no hope.

But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ.” Ephesians 2 v 4 – 5

God pursues us, He puts the onus on Himself, it’s not about how hard we fight, or how much we chase, it’s about Him who stooped from Heaven to rescue us. The King who frees us and pays our debt for us. I didn’t think that Kings behaved this way?!

I’ve already quoted Romans 6 v 23, but I only quoted the first half, the whole verse reads like this:

jesus-cross2colorFor the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

This is breathtaking, have you ever heard of something so scandalous?

“How can Christ who reigns eternally be hung upon a cross? How can He so holy have stooped to save the lost?”

How will you respond to this?

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One Comment
  1. Stuart Chalmers permalink

    An attitude of gratitude is all the response I can give, but that hen changes me from ” a hopeless case to a child that is free”

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