Sermon Snippets’ is an occasional series, taking bitesize chunks from our Sunday sermons. The following excerpt is adapted from a sermon on Colossians 2:6-15, preached by Nigel Styles last Sunday. You can listen to the whole sermon here.
Martin Luther wrote that when Satan tells us that we are sinners, he is actually reminding us of the mercy and kindness of Christ our Redeemer. He is reminding me of the death of Jesus that has thoroughly dealt with all my sins. He points me to the place where I can be comforted me immeasurably.
Imagine a list of all you’ve done wrong – all the many things that Satan likes to remind us about. This long list is like a huge IOU of what we owe God.
In our passage from Colossians 2, Paul pictures the cross of Jesus and points above his head to the place where the felonies of the crucified criminal are normally nailed. And Paul sees there not the ‘the king of the Jews’ sign that actually hung there, but my list of my crimes nailed to his cross. All my sins are listed up there.
And the place where they hang, flapping in the wind, is a reminder of mercy and kindness. For the punishment has been meted out, not on me but on that man hanging there. The debt to society has been paid by him. That IOU has been nailed above a prisoner who has died for those crimes.
And my criminal record – which should be so condemning – is cancelled.
It’s a very vivid picture saying that our forgiveness is complete. And how immeasurably comforting this is.