Ignorance of the law is no excuse for breaking the law. So if you ever find yourself in court telling the judge you didn’t know something, that won’t get you off. Depending on the judge, however, it might get you a lighter sentence.
When it comes to your and my spiritual existence, Jesus represents the kind of forgiveness that only occurs in family court. The more I read scripture, the more I understand the wonderful relationship we have with the Almighty and the extraordinary power of His love for you and me, as demonstrated by a blood relationship with His only son, Jesus Christ. That blood thing is what I’m referring to.
I will use two examples to illustrate my point: Christ on the cross and Simon Peter’s denial of Jesus as the cock crowed.
Peter did in fact deny Jesus as predicted. Peter also “wept bitterly” because of it. One very good example of God’s great capacity to love His children is that this same Peter, afraid and fearful for his own life, came to witness for the Lord with no fear of losing his new life whatsoever. It was Peter who, when the day of Pentecost came and he was filled with the Holy Spirit, spoke boldly and without fear of reprisal about the blood-bought forgiveness of sins because Christ’s death made us eternal members of God’s family.
Jesus is our access. He is our entrée, our court-appointed attorney, our intercessor to our Father. Peter acknowledges this when he says, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.” Acts 2:38.
You see what the Holy Spirit did for Peter? That’s what the Holy Spirit will do for you. The key is weeping bitterly. Peter had to first accept and acknowledge his shortcomings. He had to empty himself to make room for the Holy Spirit. Those who recognize this and understand the premise, know first and foremost that they are truly family members and ignorance is only an excuse as it relates to ultimate acceptance that Christ is Lord.
In Luke 23:34, Jesus says “Father forgive them, for they know not what they do.” From the Master’s own lips, we know even His captors and persecutors were in line for forgiveness. All anyone has to do is plead ignorance, repent and turn to the Lord. Ain’t that something? Blood-brought forgiveness and no one, particularly God, expects you to be perfect. Right, Peter?
The expectation is that you’ll be righteous in your understanding and sincere in your repentance. Your court-appointed attorney has already won your case. But you do have to show up in court and listen and acknowledge that the charges are true.
Yes, I denied Him. Yes, I committed the sin. Yes, I was wrong. “Guilty as charged” will be the verdict. And as Jesus told the adulteress, “Go and sin no more.” He tells us that everyday. May you and I hear and obey. May you come to understand that the shedding of Christ’s blood made you His blood brother, so to speak, and God your Father too.
In the meantime, may you never live in ignorance again.