Reaching out to Central New York in the name of Jesus Christ

A Word for Today

Guilty Until Found Innocent

Soon after the Apostle Paul was arrested in Jerusalem, we see the following passage:

Acts 22:24+25 The commander ordered that Paul be taken into the barracks.  He directed that he be flogged and interrogated in order to find out why the people were shouting at him like this.  As they stretched him out to flog him, Paul said to the centurion standing there, “Is it legal for you to flog a Roman citizen who hasn’t even been found guilty?”

Thankfully Paul spoke up just in time.  When the commander heard that Paul was a Roman citizen, he immediately withdrew those who were preparing to beat him – Whew!  But we know this is not the end of the injustices experienced by the Apostle Paul, despite his Roman citizenship.  And what about everybody else who wasn’t a Roman citizen?  What if the commander ordered such a person to be whipped and beaten only to find out they didn’t actually do anything wrong?  Does he say, “Oh, sorry about that.  I guess it was a mistake.  You can go your way now.”?  I am sure it happened from time to time.  Boy am I glad I don’t live under a judicial system like that!

That being said, the Bible shows us that we are all found guilty before a holy and righteous God.  All of us deserve punishment and judgment because we have sinned against him.  None of us is innocent.  Yet, every person is offered the opportunity to be forgiven through faith and trust in Jesus Christ.  God himself took the punishment we deserved on the cross so that we could be changed and made clean and righteous before him.  Thank you Jesus that you made a way to redeem us, though we did nothing to deserve it!

Isaiah 53:5 But he was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities: The chastisement of our peace was upon him; And with his stripes we are healed.