For or Against?

 •  3 min. read  •  grade level: 4
"I tell you I didn't steal it, I bought it," he kept on repeating until at last the judge was obliged to silence him.
Kelly had been arrested on the charge of stealing a watch. There was no doubt that the watch had been stolen and found in his possession. In the opinion of both policeman and judge that was enough to convict him.
Just as the judge had apparently arrived at his decision, I stepped up to him.
"What do you want?" asked the judge.
"I want to give evidence in this case, sir."
The moment Kelly heard that he turned on me in a rage. "Don't listen to him. He doesn't know anything about it. He only came here to tell a lot of lies. He wants to make it hot for me."
It was useless to tell Kelly to keep quiet and listen. He seemed to think, because I was in police uniform, that I was bound to be against him.
At last the judge got him to keep quiet and told me to proceed. I said, "A few days ago I was taking two prisoners to the county jail. I heard one say, `I did old Kelly the other day!' How?' asked the other. 'I sold him a watch for thirty dollars that wasn't worth five!' "
What a change on the faces of all in the courtroom! As for Kelly, he looked as if he could have kissed me! Of course he got off, in spite of all the circumstantial evidence against him. The evidence I gave for him more than counterbalanced all that was against him. But—if he had had his way, he would never have known what was in my heart towards him.
That is just the way some people treat God. They will not listen to Him, because they think He is against them, but He is for them.
"For God sent not His Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through Him might be saved." John 3:1717For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. (John 3:17).
Kelly was innocent, but God can be righteously gracious towards a guilty man, and let him go free.
The great question is this: How can God righteously let the man go free when He Himself has proved him guilty?
The only answer is, by substitution.
In the cross we see God's love to the sinner displayed in the gift of His Son (the only. One who was capable of taking the sinner's place, being without sin Himself), who bore the sinner's sins (1 Peter 2:2424Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed. (1 Peter 2:24)), suffered for them (1 Peter 3:1818For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit: (1 Peter 3:18)) and "DIED FOR THE UNGODLY." This is the way—the only way—the sinner can go free.