Well it’s that time of year again: NHL playoffs. I’ve been in the tractor so I haven’t watched much but I’ve had lots of hours to listen to a great deal of sports talk radio (ladies don’t roll your eyes). Once again this year a recurring topic is the way the rules are enforced differently when the playoffs start. Personally it drives me nuts, but there are many who insist it is better this way, all the while the league insists there’s no intentional difference.
Now it is not my intent to spark a debate as to whether or not it should happen, but it is indisputable that it does. Whether it is cross-checking, interference, holding, or hooking during the playoffs the refs give the players a lot more latitude than is given during the regular season. Whatever your perspective is on whether or not it should happen is really not the point here. The point simply is that it does happen.
It’s a good thing this doesn’t happen in real life. Imagine if during rush hour everybody knew that the rules of the road were going to be relaxed. Consider what would happen if the stock exchange was lenient on insider trading because it was the last hour of trading in the day. Or if the mall cops let a shoplifter go because he didn’t flagrantly steal. Society would be in chaos. Of course some may suggest that’s what happens in the playoffs too, but I digress.
In real life if you break the rules you pay the penalty. This is true in the spiritual realm as well, and in the spiritual realm the Referee doesn’t miss any calls and we have all been sent to the penalty box. Ok, I’ll drop the hockey analogy, it’s about to run thin anyway.
When it comes to sin we have all broken the rules. The good news, the only news with any hope at all, is that Jesus paid our penalty for us. It’s not a matter of if I do the right things or enough right things then God will let it slide. The penalty is paid in full. It is done and now it is offered to you. The only question is will you accept it?
Here’s a little of what the Bible says about it.
Rom 6:23 For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord.
Rom 10:9-10 If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.
1 John 1:8-10 If we claim we have no sin, we are only fooling ourselves and not living in the truth. But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness.
(Holy Bible, New Living Translation ®, copyright © 1996, 2004 by Tyndale Charitable Trust. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers. All rights reserved.)