A Bill We Could Not Pay


15 Jun A Bill We Could Not Pay

The year was 2008. A wide-eyed freshman at Arizona State University sat down for dinner on a first date with the most gorgeous girl he’d ever seen. The sky was the limit, the night was his, and nothing could be better than this.

Was there anyone on campus with more game?


Anyone with more style?


Anyone at all who could ruin this night?


This eighteen year old guy had the world in his fingertips, and the girl of his dreams at his side. They ordered up, anything she wanted she got, anything he wanted… Of course, he got! Appetizers, entrees, multiple desserts! Money was no object. Things could not have been more perfect.

Until the waiter returned with the bill, and the words,

Sorry sir. Your card has been declined.

Declined!? It wasn’t possible! It wasn’t happening!! Why!!? No! This can’t happen to me!!!

But It was happening to me. I squirmed, I twisted, face blood red with embarrassment. “Oh Lord, why hath thou forsaken me in my time to shine!?” I said in my spirit. Well apparently Mr. big shot was too dumb to realize his temporary debit card had expired. I was left with a bill I could not pay. I patted my pockets, patted my jeans, the panic pat where you pat places that don’t even have pockets, like your ankles! As if a pocket with money in it would somehow materialize. My pride gone, hope of a second date, GONE! What was left? A stupid bill.

After what seemed like an eternity of shame and embarrassment, my date who I would never see again, paid for the both of us. A bill I could not pay.

A while ago, I shared this story with the students in our youth group. A simple story that very practically explains what Christ did for us on the cross. He paid a bill WE COULD NOT PAY. He took the bill of sin, the result that was death, and he paid it for us. In replace of the death that we deserve, he left us grace. He took shame, guilt, worthlessness, sorrow, pain, grief, and everything that sin brings with it, and he left it in the tomb. He left death in the grave, and in its place we have grace.

Religion says, “you messed up, you’re not good enough,” but the grace of Jesus says, “I knew you would mess up, so I died for you.”

Every other religion will tell you be good because God loves good people. Christianity says your not good, but God loves you anyway. Jesus knew every mistake you would ever make, and he still called you. No mistake has disqualified you from the destiny God has for you. Every mess up, every mistake, every episode in your life has you where you are today so Jesus can take you where you need to go tomorrow.

Don’t let mess-ups become hang ups, let GRACE keep you going, when your mistakes tell you to stop.