Then I took out a giant marker and wrote one word in big letters across that piece of paper.
That word was “TETESTAI.”
“What does that word mean dad?” Jeremy asked.
“It’s the word Jesus said on the cross right before he died. It’s the Greek word for, ‘It is finished!’ It means ‘Paid in full.’”
He interrupted me and said, “Dad, I know Jesus forgives me, but what are my consequences from you and mom?”
I said, “Jeremy, you’re not getting what I’m saying. Your consequence is this: there is no consequence, because Jesus took it for you on the cross. He paid the price. He forgave you. So, this time, we forgive you. We’re not going to turn you into the Christian school. We’re not going to ground you. We’re not even going to make you pay us back the $500. You are completely forgiven. aYour debt has been fully paid.”
Jeremy was stunned. He couldn’t believe it.
Then I leaned in and said these words with a sly smile on my face, “But unlike Jesus, this is one time deal.”
Jeremy was in shock, the good kind of shock. He couldn’t believe that he was completely forgiven.
The next morning I got up and found a pile of ashes in a cup of water on the kitchen table.
I said, “Jeremy what’s this?”
He said,“Last night I went out in the middle of the night and burned that piece of paper.”
“Why in the world would you do that? Why didn’t you frame it or something?” I asked.
I’ll never forget his wise-beyond-his-years answer, “Why would I frame that piece of paper that represented my sins? My sins have been paid for by Jesus and they are gone, burnt to pieces.”
Then I asked him why he put those burnt pieces of paper in the cup of water, “Is it because in Micah 7:19 God says he will cast our sins into the deepest ocean?”
He said, “No, dad, I was afraid that I’d accidentally burn the house down.”
Since that time Jeremy has been on an upward trajectory in his walk with Christ. He has sought to live a life that pleases God. He is attending a Bible school right now, preparing to go into full-time ministry.
What is the answer to teen drug use? The Gospel. What’s the answer to vaping and alcohol abuse? The Gospel. What’s the answer to your struggles and mine? The Gospel. What’s the answer to engaging Generation Z with the true message of hope? The Gospel.
The Gospel changes everything. It did for my son. It does for me.
It will change everything for you too, if you let it.
“He forgave us all our sins, having canceled the charge of our legal indebtedness, which stood against us and condemned us; he has taken it away, nailing it to the cross.” (Colossians 2:14)
This article originally appeared here and is used by permission.