Receipts are a part of our daily routines. We pay for gas, groceries, or any number of other things in our lives and we receive a receipt that it has been paid. I had a bill with an accountant last year from doing my taxes. I made a partial payment, but was surprised by a receipt in the mail that the bill had been paid in full.
I have piled up quit a list of indebtedness because of my sins over the years of my life. If I were able with the Holy Spirit’s help to recall everyone of them I could fill a bookstore with ledgers in account books of the debt I owe. Don’t judge me, your list is pretty damning as well.
But I want to call your attention to an incredible reality. In Colossians 2:13 the scripture reminds us that our sins left us dead, but that through Christ God has made us alive. God has done this by forgiving us of our sins, and in verse 14 we discover how He has forgiven us. He cancelled our debt by taking this horrid list and nailing it to the cross of Jesus Christ.
There is a very interesting Greek word that is only used in the New Testament twice, and both times are in John 19. The first occurrence is in verse 28 when Jesus declares that he is thirsty, and the text says that at that time He knew that all was now finished, “tetelestai.” The second occurrence is in verse 30 when he declares from the cross, “It is finished,” “tetelestai.” The word is not used to say that the suffering on the cross has come to an end, although it does immediately after this because He dies. But the word means that the payment of the debt owed has been completed.
Often in ancient times a receipt was given when a debt had been paid with the word “tetelestai” written upon it. The word means a “Paid in full receipt.” Throughout the New Testament we see testimony that Christ has paid our sin debt. It was a debt He did not owe, and a debt you and I owed but had no way of paying.
When a debt is satisfied, no further payment is required. In these two passages I have cited, Colossians 2:13-14 and John 19:28 and 30 God has given to us a written receipt that our sin debt is “Paid in Full.” Payment has been completed. We have been fully acquitted and forgiven. All legal guilt has been removed. All shame has been covered.
WOW! What incredible Good News. Our sins, past, present, and future are forgiven because full payment has been made. Forgiveness for us is free, but it is not cheap. It costs God the death of His only begotten Son on Calvary’s Cross. Live in your freedom today so as to bring glory to God. Amen