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No Sin Too Great

The prisoner’s body language told his story as no words could convey—his shoulders hunched as if perpetually bearing the weight of guilt and his face indelibly etched in constant grief. The solitary lockdown of “Jason’s” soul seemed far more isolating than his confinement behind rolled-steel bars and razor wire fences. The only reason Jason did not take his own life, he would say later, was that he needed to suffer for his offense. Yet when Jason entered the room on the fourth and final day of our Kairos Prison Ministry weekend, his face glowed—his eyes sparkled and a broad smile of relief radiated peace and joy from within. We were stunned.

We all regret our wrongs; we should. They’re real, and they are serious before a just and holy God. The fact that our sins have not landed us in jail make them no less egregious than if they had. It was Paul, that great apostle to the Gentiles, who confessed, “I am the worst [sinner] of them all.”1 His were not gratuitous words of false humility, for this self-proclaimed “wretched man”2 knew the depth of his sin. Yet he knew also the mercy of God and the power of the gospel: “There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.”3

Saturdays on a Kairos weekend focus on forgiving self, forgiving others, and receiving forgiveness from God. We consider His promises, such as this from Isaiah, “Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow …”4 and again from John, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.”5 No wrong we have committed can exceed the height of God’s love for us; no offense runs deeper than His grace. And as Saturday drew to a close, Jason received this forgiveness. “This morning when I looked in the mirror,” he told us the next day, “for the first time in nineteen years I liked what I saw.” For he saw what God saw: a forgiven man made new—his sins gone, and his burden lifted. I’ve seen Jason many times over the ensuing years, and his face still glows as a testimony to the freedom of forgiveness over the captivity of sin.

If God forgave “the worst sinner of them all,” He will forgive you, too. Dare to trust Him; dare to believe. Then let your story shine.

“As far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us.” (Psalm 103:12).

Father, thank You for sending Jesus to take my sins upon Himself. I am eternally grateful. Grace me to shine as one rescued from death unto life. Be glorified in me. In Christ I pray. Amen.

1 1 Timothy 1:15 NLT
2 Romans 7:24
3 Romans 8:1
4 Isaiah 1:18
5 1 John 1:19