We have all heard the legal phrase “ignorance is no excuse” for breaking the law. So if you ever find yourself in court, telling the judge you didn’t know, won’t get you off. Depending on who the judge is might, however, get you a lighter sentence. When it comes to our spiritual existence, I believe belief in Christ might find the kind of verdict rendered in Family Court. The more I read scripture and internalize my unique relationship to the Almighty, the more I’m reminded of the family I belong to. The extraordinary power of His love, as demonstrated by the acknowledged blood relationship I have with Christ, demands that I recognize and accept my place as a family member of some standing. It’s that blood thing that I’m talking about. Allow me to use two examples to illustrate my point: 1) Christ on the cross and, 2) Peter’s denial of Christ as the cock crowed.
All of us know that Peter in fact denied Jesus as prophesied. We also know that Peter “wept bitterly” because of it. A very good example of the power of family love I’m talking about is reflected in this same fearful Peter, who although afraid for his own life, came to witness for the Lord with no fear of losing his life at all. Zero! It was Peter who, when the day of Pentecost came and being filled with holy Spirit, spoke boldly and without fear of reprisal about the blood bought forgiveness of sins because Christ’s death secured his place and ours as eternal members of god’s family. You see Jesus is our access. He is our entrée, our court appointed attorney, our intercessor to the Judge our Father, if you will. Peter readily acknowledges this. “Repent and be baptized, every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.” Acts 2:38. What the Holy Spirit did for Peter, will also be done for you. I’m thinking the key here is the weeping part. Peter had to accept 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 not a defensible excuse as it relates to ultimate acceptance that Christ is Lord.
Secondly, 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; the same forgiveness that rolls straight down to us. You can plead ignorance if you want to, but repentance is a family trait. Ain’t that something? Blood bought forgiveness doesn’t expect you to be perfect. Right Peter? The expectation is that as a family member, you’ll be righteous and sincere in your repentance. In this family’s court, that’s enough. Your court appointed attorney has already won your case. But you do have to show up in court and acknowledge that the charges are true. Yes, I denied him. Yes, I committed the sin(s). Yes, I was wrong. I am guilty as charged. And as Jesus told the adulteress, go and sin no more, He tells us that everyday. We just need to hear and obey. This is our blood brother talking you know; which means He’s pleading our case to our Father. Ignorance is still no excuse. But the verdict will always be rendered in our favor.
May God bless and keep you always in the truth of this.