Love keeps no record of wrongs
For my Australian readers I don't have to say much more beyond "Andrew Chan" and you probably know where I'm heading with this. For those of you who have not had their newsfeeds inundated with updates on the Bali 9 I will explain briefly.
In 2005 Andrew Chan and Myurman Sukumaran were arrested in Indonesia as the ringleaders of a drug smuggling ring, dubbed the Bali 9. They and six others were were executed by firing squad earlier this week.
Responses have been mixed. Some fought tooth and nail to get clemency while others begged Indonesian officials to hurry up and shoot then already. And there were Christians and non-Christians on both sides. Considering both Chan and Sukumaran had come to Christ during their imprisonment the lack of compassion among some Christians was especially sad.
So what? Who cares, they're drug smugglers!
And the thief on the cross was no saint either but Jesus promised to see him in paradise.
The reality of this world is that people are going to stuff up, they're going to hurt you and you're going to want to hurt them back. Then Jesus comes along and tells us he loves us anyway.
He doesn't care what you've done. His victory on the cross wiped away your sins and by the riches of God's glorious grace we are forgiven and free. Chan and Sukumaran came to realise this. As they stood waiting to be executed Chan led the men in singing Amazing Grace.
The author of Amazing Grace was a slave trader and a rapist. He came to know the truth about God's grace and love. However he still struggled with temptation, forcing himself on women and indulging his flesh. But God loved Him anyway. That's not to say we get off scott free and can do whatever feel like. That would be throwing God's gift of grace back in His face. That can only end badly.
Andrew Chan and Myuraman Sukumaran did not get off scott free. They spent 10 years in prsion, were hated and scorned by their fellow citizens and I imagine they thought less than loving thoughts against their jailers at times.
But they stood in God's grace, offered freely through His Son, in His love that keeps no record of wrongs. And if we are to love like Jesus loved we must to the same.
"A new command I give to you: love one another. As I have loved you, so must you love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another."
(John 13: 34-35)