Have you ever heard of a case in court where the guilty gets off due to some technicality? There is a sense of righteous indignation that wells up inside at the injustice that brought some loophole to the light of day, allowing a guilty person off the hook. I find myself angry that loopholes seem to reward the guilty and if it is a high profile case it can cause riots and divide a nation. But then again, I found myself needing a loophole.
I was once guilty and was freed because of a loophole.
God made it happen.
God made the eternal law when He created mankind. He told Adam that if he disobeyed and ate the fruit he was told not to, in that day he would die. But, Adam didn’t die so what did God mean? Later, we read that the eternal law God proclaimed is that the soul that sins will die. We all are dead in sin. We all have broken the law.
The Bible shows us that by one man Adam, death entered into all of humanity. All sin, big or small severs our soul from the living God. So, we have a living body that is subject to death and illness, and a spirit of intellect and free will that is influenced by this state of disconnect from the living God. But our soul is dead. God is a trinity and so is man. We have a body, soul, and spirit. But 1/3rd is dead and 2/3rds live in a state of half-life. That is why I started writing my book Calling all Zombies.
I find it interesting that the decimal for 2/3rds is .666 and it is also called the number of man in Revelations.
Way back before He created humans God knew we would need a way of escape. He knew that without a loophole we would be lost forever. All of us would stand guilty and dead without hope before a Holy living God who must judge sin. What loophole did God provide that made a way to escape eternal separation from God?
But that doesn’t mean sin gets off the hook. God didn’t wave his hand and suddenly my sins were gone like magic. Sin must be judged. God judged the sins of the world at the cross when Jesus carried my sin and took the punishment for that sin. Sin caused the death of my soul. He did provide a way of escape so that His goodness would lead me to repentance and because of Jesus I am not just forgiven but because Jesus rose from the dead, I am made alive in Christ so that my soul is no longer dead.
In my book Calling all Zombies, Jesus is in the heart of the main character. Jake, who is awake in the spiritual realm, was a zombie and prayed, inviting Jesus into his heart. Here is a portion of that conversation.
“Wait.” Jake put up his hand with one finger up, gesturing his need for a moment to think. To breathe. “Wow! … I mean,” he paused nervously, running his hand through his thin hair. “It’s YOU!” Jake choked on his emotions as his eyes filled with despair. He backed further away from Jesus feeling shame for all the trash piled around. He kicked it in frustration as all his fears and failures crushed him. In desperation, he tried to get some control of his emotions.
“Why are you here? Don’t you see? It’s no good. I’m still the same!” He cried. “You know … I, I, I prayed! I prayed with Pastor Dave, an, an, and… Nothing happened! It didn’t work! I came back here, I’m still a zombie…look at me!” Jake pulled up his sleeve and waved his arm, “See?” He looked at his arms and sighed. Leaning against the garbage, he slid to the floor afraid to look at Jesus.
“I, I can’t even pray right.” Jake closed his eyes and groaned whispering, “Oh God,” as if suddenly remembering he was screaming at Jesus. All he could do was to pull up his knees, put his head down on his arms, and weep, lost in the bitterness of a broken soul. Jesus came over to him and gently picked him up. He carried Jake through the debris to the large chair by the fireplace. He sat down and held a now sobbing Jake in his arms. As all of his sorrow, pain, and fear flowed with his tears, Jesus whispered. “I love you, Jacob.”
As Jesus held him, love covered Jake like a blanket. He found himself in that place where there is nothing left. No more fear. No more tears. Peace settled on him like the silence of snow falling in a secret garden. He relaxed, feeling as if a huge weight was lifting off him. In the stillness of that moment, Jake whispered,
“I’m sorry for yelling at you.”
Jesus smiled. “If I got upset every time someone yelled at me, the world would be in big trouble.” Jake sat up ready to talk.
Jake stayed on Jesus’ lap as if it was the most natural thing to do.
Jesus gently lifted Jake’s face up to his own so he could look him in the eyes. “Jake,” he said earnestly, “I heard your prayer.” He paused and smiled. “Boy! Did I ever hear that prayer! And, nothing in all of creation could ever stop me from coming here, from coming to you. I’m here because you asked me to come into your heart.”
Jake bowed his head and looking down at his arms, he sighed. “Why am I still a zombie? I thought I would be healed and, be like, all better.”
Jesus reached out and gently held his hand, careful not to hurt his delicate skin. “Jake, this is not a disease that can be healed. I do not wave my hand and cure death. That is not how it works.” Jesus paused, and then spoke gently, “Sin separated you from me, the source of life. When you prayed with Pastor Dave and repented, that allowed me to forgive you of sin. I forgive you, Jake.” He paused, giving Jake a full smile, then continued seriously. “Do not doubt for a moment that your prayer didn’t work.” Jake smiled as Jesus continued. “But the consequence of sin, of being dead to me, the zombie thing, is the other part. I allowed you to come back here so you can see in a way that you will understand how The Great Law is fulfilled. How you are made alive in me.”
Jake thought for a moment, “You’re talking about the cross and what you did there, right?” His voice low, as if this was a sore subject not to bring up.
“Absolutely Jake and you don’t need to whisper. This is everything to do with the cross. Sin must be judged. Your sin is judged on the cross.” Jesus spoke softly to Jake, who now turned Jesus’ hand over and saw the scars that covered his wrist.
“But that happened so long ago, how does that work now to make me better, to not be a zombie?” He asked.
“What happened on the cross is eternal from before the world was created. While that one event happened in time, the work of the cross is beyond time. Jake, as I said, I don’t heal death. I conquer it. You must give me your death so I can give you my life.”
“You’re serious?” Jake got up and stood away from Jesus as he stammered, “Like… like…for real? I don’t understand.”
“Jake, you asked me to come here because you realized that you were guilty of sin, in need of a savior. You need my life to deliver you from the consequence of sin. This death, this half-life that you call being a zombie.” Jesus stood up and put his arm gently around Jake’s shoulders.’
God gave us a loophole. That is an awesome loophole. Jesus said He is the gate and only through him can we enter into eternal life.
Many don’t believe this and they try to find other loopholes to escape the judgment of sin without the cross and the shedding of blood. They search for a loophole of self-righteousness that they believe will qualify them for eternal life.
There is only one loophole that gets us off the hook and that is only because Jesus willingly took our place.
One thought on “Getting off the hook”
Woahhhhh! !!!!!!! Gloraayyyyyyyyyy!!!! I am righteous….hallelujah!!!