About the time Lisa and I were married I was involved in an automobile accident. My father-in-law, brother-in-law, and I were driving down a four-lane road and pulled into the left hand turn lane at an intersection. There was quite a bit of traffic and I was the last one that could fit in the turn lane. The car behind me wished to turn as well and so pulled up behind me. Without being able to fit in the turn lane he was blocking the left lane of traffic. This apparently caught the driver a couple cars back off guard because he rear-ended the car in front of him who hit the car behind me who collided with me. There was no damage to my car. It didn’t even knock the dust off the bumper. Everyone was okay and out of their vehicle. Since my car was not damaged and the wreck wasn’t my fault I figured there was no point in sticking around so we left.
Later that evening, a police officer found me at Lisa’s parents’ home and wrote me a ticket for a HIT AND RUN. I could not believe it. When I went to court I pleaded “not guilty” at the arraignment. When I returned for my trial my father-in-law and I asked the prosecuting attorney how I could be charged with a hit and run if I did not hit anyone. She explained that if you leave the scene of an accident, which resulted in damage in excess of three hundred dollars, you are guilty of a hit and run. She then offered to reduce the suggested sentence to a seventy-dollar fine if I would change my plea to guilty. She pointed out that if I refused, the stakes were much higher, and according to the law I was guilty. I took the deal.
The whole time the police tracked me down and ticketed me, and I was arraigned in court I never felt guilty for what I did. But the reason I did not acknowledge my guilt is not because I was innocent but rather because I was ignorant of the law. Under the law I was clearly guilty.
I had the same problem in my relationship with God. For years I did not acknowledge my guilt before God and my need for Jesus Christ because I did not feel guilty. However, my feelings, once again, were not based on innocence but on ignorance of the righteousness of God’s laws. So how would I hold up in God’s court? The Bible says, “ all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). In other words, I am guilty. So what is the penalty? God’s word states that, “the wages of sin is death” (Romans 6:23); but that verse goes on to declare that, “the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord”. So if you talk to the judge before you stand in His court; if you acknowledge your guilt and put your faith in His Son you will be forgiven. It won’t even cost you seventy dollars.