“My dear children, I write this to you so that you will not sin. But if anybody does sin, we have an advocate with the Father – Jesus Christ, the Righteous One. He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world.” 1 John 2:1-2
(Verses chosen from today’s Bible reading – Jeremiah 21,24,27 & Psalm 118 & 1 John 2)
There is great comfort in these two verses.
I am a sinner and always will be one. I don’t want to sin but yet I do. I deserve to be punished by God for my sins but then this verse comes along.
I have Jesus as my advocate. He rightly represents me before God. When God wants to punish me, Jesus steps in and recalls how He has already taken the punishment for my sins. How? Jesus died on the cross covering the sins of the whole world with that amazing act of love. He has the scars to prove it!
Justice demands that no one be punished TWICE for the same crime, therefore, because God is just, He will not give me the ultimate punishment that my sinfulness deserves. Hallelujah!
However, for me (you?) to get into the “zone” of the previous paragraph, I must be a believer. I must believe that I am a sinner worthy of God’s ultimate justice. I must also believe that Jesus took the punishment I deserved for my sins. With those two things settled I can then rejoice that Jesus is my advocate before God.
There is remarkable simplicity to all of this. Sadly for some it too simple to be true and for others it is too good to be true. The really foolish among us want to “work” their way into God’s favor. Silly them. God has already provided a way into His favor. Accept it and start a life with Him.
“Lord, how I thank You that Your Son Jesus is my advocate in Your Presence. How thankful I am that He took my punishment on the cross for my sins, past, present, and future. None of them will keep my from an after-life with You. Forgive me for not living in the greatest of appreciation for what has been done for me. You deserve all honor and praise from me. Open my ears/eyes to You. I love You, Lord.”