1/13/16 Giovanni about 25
"If you were on trial and found guilty for a horrible crime, and the punishment was a fine for more than you could ever hope to pay, would you allow someone else to pay your fine for you?" I often use analogies like this to try to explain aspects of the gospel. Yesterday, at the grocery store with a young man named Giovanni, I used this idea of a human courtroom to explain our accountability before God and God's role as judge to enact justice on judgment day. Gio said no, he would not allow anyone to pay his fine, that it wouldn't be right, and that he should take responsibility for the consequences of his own actions. He believed that was the most honorable answer.
"But what if someone already paid your fine, at great sacrifice to themselves? If the judge asked if you would legally agree to this payment made on your behalf and that he would treat you as if you were innocent as a result, wouldn't it make sense to accept it?” Giovani looked thoughtful. "That's what Jesus did for you 2000 years ago. He was innocent, but he took your punishment by dying on the cross. You did the crime, but He already paid your fine. Refusing to accept what He has done on your behalf won't undo his death on the cross. Don't let your pride keep you from receiving God's merciful sacrifice for you. In fact, the best way to honor Jesus is to receive Him, obey Him, and share the good news with others."
This seemed to make sense to Giovani, and helped make the Gospel more understandable. I know analogies can be limited in how well they convey Gospel truths, but I trust God used it to help Gio understand that "…all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. God presented Christ as a sacrifice of atonement, through the shedding of his blood—to be received by faith." (Romans 3)