A local policeman had just finished his shift one cold November evening and was at home with his wife. "You just won't believe what happened this evening. In all my years on the force I've never seen anything like it!"
"I came across two guys down by the canal, one of them was drinking battery acid and the other was eating fireworks."
"Drinking battery acid and eating fireworks!! What did you do with them?"
"I charged one and let the other off."
Spiritually speaking, those of us who are Christians have been both "charged" and "let off." We are charged with sin (and rightfully so, for we are guilty). "For we have previously charged both Jews and Greeks that they are all under sin." (Rom. 3:9)
But, those of us who are Christians who have put on Christ have also been "let off" because Jesus Christ has paid the price for our sins. We have been justified, "just as if I'd" never sinned. "Therefore let it be known to you, brethren, that through this Man is preached to you the forgiveness of sins; and by Him everyone who believes is justified from all things from which you could not be justified by the law of Moses." (Acts 13:38-39)
To be charged is a frightful thing (those of you who have received tickets can vouch for that). To have a judge say, "I find you guilty, but I'm going to pay the fine for you" is inconceivable. Yet, that's exactly what has happened! May our lives demonstrate the gratitude we feel.