Summer 2024

Daily Devotional: Thursday, March 16 - Paying The Penalty

“But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed.” — Isaiah 53:5

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Penalties are a part of hockey. Some, like slashing or hooking, are considered minor penalties and result in the guilty party having to sit in the penalty box for two minutes. Meanwhile, their team plays with one less player. Others, like fighting, are major penalties and the punishment is four minutes in the penalty box.

But what happens when a goaltender commits a penalty?

Well, the goalie gets to stay on the ice while another player from the team serves the punishment. The goalie didn’t get what he or she deserved, while an innocent player bears the burden for the wrongdoing of another. It’s obviously not a perfect analogy, but I see a lot of parallels to what Jesus did for His people on the cross.

God, in His perfect holiness, cannot tolerate wrongdoing, but the truth is we’ve all sinned in some form or another. We’re all wrongdoers. In fact, the Bible tells us that our very hearts have been hopelessly corrupted and are in need of healing.

And that’s just what the Father did by sending His innocent Son. Kind of like a hockey player serving a penalty for the goalie, Jesus took upon Himself the sins of all of His people who ever have lived and who ever will live, paid the penalty of death on the cross, and then rose again three days later, conquering sin and death and bestowing upon His people eternal life.

Here’s the most amazing part: He did it willingly, out of the great love He has for you. It’s the most amazing story ever told, the Good News, the Gospel. And it’s ours with faith in Christ.

Everyone who believes in Him is free from the guilt of sin and free to joyously walk in obedience to our Lord and Savior. Rejoice in this glorious reality today.

— Kevin Mercer

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