Good Tuesday morning! I need to feel more imputed, and so I came up with this scenario. This is one that most of us can relate to, thanks to the current recession situation.
You are standing in what is called your house, the bank's house really, looking out the front window. The walk to the front door is long; long enough for you to see the gathering of debt collectors, sheriff's deputies, and the IRS men in trench coats. You know your situation a bit too well: a million and change in debt, house payments not made for six months, and the good paying job said good bye to you about a year ago. You have no assets to speak of, nothing in the bank accounts, and not even a life insurance policy to pay off the debt should one of the deputies accidentally put you out of your misery.
Filled with shame and despair, you turn your face to Heaven and call upon the One who can help. You've always believed in yourself until now, but suddenly you realize that belief was misplaced. Jesus has been knocking on the door of your heart for years while you built this little empire of debt, and now judgement day has come. Jail time, restitution, repayment for all of eternity due to a debt you cannot begin to repay all stare at you down that long walk. You pray a simple prayer of simple faith, "Save me Lord Jesus!"
Suddenly, someone joins the group out front with a piece of paper; a court order stating that your debt has been paid! The bank president comes up to the house and lets you know that the deed to the house will be kept safe for you in the most secure place. The debt is paid, the home is yours, and all you did was call out to Jesus!
This little story is the best example I can think of to show how righteousness is imputed to us by Christ when we accept Him as Lord. The debt we face is the sin debt we owe. Not only do we not have the ability to pay it; we don't even know how to start. There is nothing in our goodness account to write promissory notes against in order to pay down our debt. We cannot get a job that pays off this debt, all the jobs we know about pay money and we already know that money doesn't follow us to the Judgement Day. Jesus paid off all that we owe. How does that feel?
Sometimes we might wonder why we didn't feel a great relief at salvation. Perhaps the answer is that we were looking in the wrong direction. We may have missed seeing that court order delivered, freeing us from years of bad debt. We may have failed to hear the banker telling us that the deed to our eternal home would now be kept safe in Heaven. We may have even failed to see how high that mountain of debt was, or realized what the penalty we faced meant by "eternity in Hell." Perhaps that feeling we missed can come now as we realize what Jesus means by "eternity in Heaven" for paying a price we could in no way pay on our own; a price given on our account out of love and a grace we can barely understand.
God bless you on this day of our Lord!