Tuesday, January 7, 2014
I’VE BEEN EXPUNGED
Sacrificial Lamb, St.Louis, MO
I was recently notified by my Life Insurance Company that although I had been sending them policy payments for many years, the funds I had invested years ago to “cover” my financial obligations were just about depleted. They informed me that I would need to transfer considerably more funds into my account if I wanted to continue our relationship. After a brief consultation with my financial advisor who wrote the original policy, we were in agreement that there was no real need to continue playing the life game with these folks at this stage. After all, they’ve always been betting that I would continue living and reducing my debt and I was betting that I would not. Fortunately, they won!
As we concluded our conversation, my consultant advised me to simply let the policy lapse into default after a short grace period. The company would then “expunge” me from their records. After a brief pause, I responded that this actually sounded like a great way to start the New Year. I could be expunged and start with a clean slate! We both had a nice chuckle and parted company. A brief Internet search revealed that there’s a big legal difference between being expunged and pardoned. If your records are expunged, they are treated as if they never existed. When you are pardoned, however, it constitutes legal forgiveness, but it does not erase the event. One of the Merriam-Webster definitions of expunge is “to eliminate (as a memory) from one's consciousness”.
Coincidently, our Bible class this week is studying the eternal life concept of Atonement. We were reminded that the insight of atonement is almost too big for words or any one image for us human beings. When sin entered into the perfect world of the Garden of Eden, Adam and Eve became the first humans to experience the pervasive sense of separation from God. Only our Creator could “atone” for our shortcomings and restore the sense of being “at one” with His universal consciousness. The Old Testament people of God saw sin as an act of incurring death, so it was atoned by a death—by literally draining the life blood from a living creature. The ritual for the annual “Day of Atonement” involved a sin offering of a goat that was slaughtered and its blood was sprinkled over the holy mercy seat to “cover” the sins of the people. When Jesus approached John the Baptist to be baptized in the Jordan River and begin his mission to “cover” the sins of all mankind, John prophetically declared that “Here is the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world”! A sacrificial lamb whose act of pure grace as a blood sacrifice could only be a substitute for all mankind if he were both human and divine.
Six hundred years before Jesus stepped into the Jordan, the prophet Jeremiah declared in chapter 31 that God would establish a new covenant with all mankind and Christ would be the foundation. God would write His law on men’s hearts, not stone, and provide a way to restore personal relationship through His final sacrifice. Jeremiah records the words of the Lord as declaring that through this new covenant “I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more”. Our sinful records will be expunged from the Book of Life when we repent of them and seek His forgiveness! And I have no reservations about not making payments on a Life Insurance policy covering my mortal temporary life at this point, as my spiritual eternal life is still covered by the blood of the Lamb through God's priceless policy of atonement!