Colossians 2:9, 13-14
9 For in him the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily,
13 And you, who were dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses, 14 by canceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This he set aside, nailing it to the cross.
Have you ever heard stories of people who have just finished paying off a huge debt? Maybe it is a mortgage that has been paid off after 30 years. Maybe it is a big student loan that a couple has finally paid down to nothing. Whatever it is, the moment that the balance due hits $0, there is great cause for celebration in the family. And the celebration is usually bigger in proportion to the size of the debt.
If we can grasp the joy of a debt removed, how much joy should we see in Colossians 2:13-14? We, God’s creation, have rebelled against him. We have put ourselves under a spiritual death sentence because of our failure to meet God’s holy standard of perfection. We have a debt to repay, and that debt is equal to the size of our offense. Our offense, of course, is infinite because we have offended the infinitely-holy God. Thus, our debt is unpayable by us. We could spend a million years in hell suffering for our sins, and we would still not be one day closer to fulfilling in ourselves the debt of our sin.
But God did something amazing. God sent his Son, Jesus. The Bible tells us, “For in him the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily.” Jesus is the infinite God in human flesh. Jesus died as the payment of our debt. He, the infinitely-perfect, infinitely-valuable Son of God ,, was able to fully cancel our debt. He paid our debt in full. As Paul tells us, God took the record of our debt before God, and he nailed it to the cross. In that one act, in the death and resurrection of Jesus, God fully paid for all the sins of all who will ever come to faith in Christ.
Now we stand and look at our accounts before God. If you have trusted in Jesus, your debt is paid—the balance is $0. What will you do? Will you celebrate? Will you get down on your knees and thank your God? Will you freely live to show others how glorious is the God who has done this for you?
We dare not think we will repay Jesus for what he has done; the payment was too big for that. All we can do is thank him for his grace. Now he has made us free to follow him, to obey his commands, and to experience the joy of glorifying him. This is not repayment of our debt, it is yet another gift from God. God has granted us the gift of doing what he originally created us to do—glorify him.