Monday, July 29, 2013

LIFE-CHANGING FORGIVENESS

In Les Miserables Jean Valjean had stolen silver from the Bishop and the local authorities had caught him red-handed. On his own merits, there was nothing Valjean could do to rectify the situation. He didn’t have the money to pay for it. He was guilty. But then something amazing happened. The Bishop tells the officers that the silver was a gift. He reminds Valjean that the ex-convict had even forgotten to take two silver candlesticks with him. The sacrifice for Valjean was not made by himself but by the Bishop. He let him go.

Once the officers leave, it would be completely reasonable for the Bishop to say, “Ok, I got you off the hook. Now give me my stuff back.” But he doesn’t. He gives it to Valjean but with the expectation that he use those stolen items to restart his life as an honest man.

This is a life-changing event for Valjean. And it’s a great metaphor for grace. Merely canceling the debt of the condemned man would have been mercy. But the bishop rewards him. That is grace…

"But remember this, my brother
See in this some higher plan
You must use this precious silver
To become an honest man
By the witness of the martyrs
By the Passion and the Blood
God has raised you out of darkness
I have bought your soul for God!" 

-- Josh Benner


#3261

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