We live in an age where everybody is worried about protecting their rights. There is the right to defend ourselves, the right to privacy, and so on. This is nothing new. God provided Esther “for such a time as this” when God’s people needed someone to defend them. The NSA of the day was following Daniel around, and found him praying in an open window. Apparently he was not so concerned about his privacy. He had nothing to hide. Even though the NSA of the day found Daniel, right there in the open, God still protected him. We could go on and on about the rights we think we deserve, but if you could only retain one right what would it be? When Jesus became a man He had His rights violated too, and you may be surprised at the only right He refused to relinquish.
“And he said unto Jesus, Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom. And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee To day[, ]shalt thou be with me in paradise.” Luke 23:42-43
Behold the matchless love Jesus has for sinful man! He comes to our earth King of Kings and Lord of Lords the Creator and Ruler of the universe. Satan wants to destroy Jesus. What Satan did to the Son of God here on Earth is exactly what he would have done to Him in heaven if he had been able. What love Jesus has for us when He comes down to this Earth and tells Satan, “Okay, I will let you take my crown away and give Me a crown of thorns, you may strip me of my royal robes and let me hang on a cruel cross. You can take away My scepter and mock me and slap Me in the face. You may mock My claim to be king of the Jews, and at last you can crucify Me and take away my life, and yes I will give up my omnipresence eternally. But the one right that I will never ever let go, is My right to forgive sinners!”
Out of all the rights and privileges of being the King of this universe, the only right Jesus did not give up on the cross was His right to forgive your sins! When we fail and feel hopeless, let us keep this in mind. Jesus never gives up on us, so we must never give up either. He died for us not when we were at our best, but when we were at our worst.
“For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.” Hebrews 4:15-16
When we have fallen, and Satan attempts to make us feel beyond the reach of grace, remember the only right Jesus clung to on the cross was the right to forgive sin. Let us remember too, when others are standing in the need of mercy, and we feel they have violated our rights, and we are tempted to defend ourselves against them, that we already have a High priest who is defending and protecting us. Let’s also exercise the one right which was never taken away from Jesus, and can never be taken away from us; the right to forgive.
You may study this week’s Sabbath School lesson here.