In 1830 George Wilson killed a US government employee, who caught him in the act of robbing the mail. Wilson was duly tried and sentenced to be hanged. The President of the United States, Andrew Jackson, sent Wilson a Presidential Pardon freeing him from prison and the death sentence. However, Wilson did a very strange thing, he refused to accept the pardon.
This caused the government great confusion, as no-one had ever done this before. Could the Presidential Pardon be refused, or should it take effect regardless. This had to be clarified, so it was sent to the US Supreme Court for a ruling.
After much deliberation Chief Justice Marshall declared that “A pardon is a slip of paper, the value of which is determined by the acceptance of the person being pardoned. If it is refused, it is no pardon. George Wilson must be hanged.” And he was.
Jesus died for the sins of the whole world, not just those who turn to him in repentance of their sins. The death of Christ on the cross is the Royal Pardon that God has sent to every single man woman and child on the earth, past, present and future. But, before it can become effective, it must be accepted in faith.
None of us is worthy to receive it, just like George Wilson wasn’t. So, although God’s pardon is totally effective, certain and sure, it’s down to each individual person whether they will choose to accept it, or not. Until they do, it remains available but ineffective.
Have you received that Royal Pardon yourself? Have you claimed it as yours, and are you living in the light of that pardon?
Your answer may well be ‘Yes, or course!” But, do you realise that, the Royal Pardon, unlike the Presidential one, covers not only your past sins and failures, but all your present and future ones? Are you willing to accept and welcome the Royal pardon for all your sins on a daily basis, or do you believe you’re unworthy, your sins are too bad, or your failures are too many?
Perhaps George Wilson believed he deserved death and not the pardon. That may be so for each of us, but God wants us to receive it, claim it as ours and live lives that are pleasing to God.
Prayer: Lord Jesus, thank You so much for Your Royal Pardon. I accept it as mine right now and thank You for it, knowing that it cost the death of Your one and only Son to purchase it. I accept the power of Your pardon for all my many sins and failings today, as well as the days to come. I know it’s totally effective. It never loses its power to free me from the consequences of my sins, and to make me right with You. Amen.
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