ILLUSTRATION: McDonalds

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Suppose I walk into McDonalds one day and I ask for a Big Mac. The man serving me politely asks me for $4.80. So I reach for my wallet only to realize that I left it at home. Usually I would walk away, but I am really hungry so I begin to plead with the man serving me. I tell him that I’m really sorry I left my wallet at home. I then ask him if there is anyway that he can give me the Big Mac for free. Of course he says no. But I don’t give up and I tell him how I will never do anything like this again if he could just find it in his heart to give me the Big Mac. So eventually he gives in and gives me the burger.

A week later, I am hungry again so I walk into the same McDonalds store and see the same man that served me last week. Again I ask for a Big Mac, and again he tells me that it will cost $4.80. So again I reach for my wallet and again I have left my wallet at home. Despite the fact that this is extremely embarrassing, I ask him if he can once again find a way to give me the Big Mac for free. It is even more difficult to convince him this time, but eventually he gives in after I explain that this is the absolute last time.

A week later again, I go into the same McDonalds & see the same guy working there. I again ask for a Big Mac and find myself in the same situation. For a third week in a row, I have forgotten my wallet. And this time, no matter how hard I try, the man serving me is not going to give me the Big Mac for free.

But what if I have a friend who feels sorry for me? Without me knowing, he goes up to the man behind the counter and says: “Here’s $1,000. Give that guy who keeps forgetting his wallet whatever he asks for”. That would change everything. The next time I ask for a Big Mac and  realize I don’t have my wallet, the guy serving me is going to ask “Do you want fries with that?”

Why?

BECAUSE MY FRIEND PAID FOR ME!

The same is true for us in our approach to God. So often we ask God for forgiveness, promising that we’ll never ever sin again. But within days, sometimes within hours, we have already broken our promise. So we go to God again, begging for His mercy, once again promising that we’ll never sin again. But over and over again we break our promise.

But what if we didn’t have to beg God to forgive us? What if we didn’t have to keep hoping to catch God in a good mood? What if we didn’t have to keep promising to do something that we know we can’t do?

Christians can be sure that they are forgiven because Jesus actually paid for their sin in full. It would be unjust for God to punish them for their sin, when Jesus has paid the price for them to escape God’s punishment.

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