I hate getting traffic fines. I really hate it because it’s such an avoidable expense. The worst thing is to get back from a good holiday and then get a R500 fine in the post for speeding. However, you check the photo in the fine, you see that it was indeed you, it was indeed your car and you were indeed speeding. (Please, no judgement!) You put your pride to one side, you go on to payfine.co.za, you pay the a fine, you pay the righteous requirement of the law.
Now that the fine is paid, you no longer need to pay it, you can’t be re-fined for the same offence, you have settled the debt, your conscience is clear and you have no fear of roadblocks or being summoned to court.
The Apostle Paul says that this is what, spiritually speaking, has happened to all those who put their faith in Jesus. The righteous requirement of God’s law has been fulfilled and the fine has been paid – the good news is that we didn’t have to pay the fine because someone else paid it for us.
In a little village in Germany in 1483 Martin Luther was born. Martin Luther was, under God, the instigator and one of the biggest drivers of the protestant reformation in Europe – with its subsequent break from the Roman Catholic Church. By the 15th Century Roman Catholicism was dominant religion in Europe. After school Luther went on to university and studied law. He decided to become a monk in one of the strictest orders in the Catholic Church. Priests taught Luther and the general public that one could save yourself by prayer, fasting and penance. The result being that Luther’s teachers were wearied by constant prayers, fasting and penance! Luther later wrote: “If ever a monk got to heaven by his monkery, it was I”. Yet he faced a long spiritual crisis, anxiously anguishing over how sinful man can come to a holy God. Luther finally experienced great joy and his eyes were opened to understand a radical, biblical truth. He wrote later, “I felt myself to be reborn, and to have gone through open doors to paradise.” What happened? What truth did he grasp?