Some of the earliest pardons in recorded history are found circa 2000 BC, when Babylonians kings issued pardons on their accession to the throne.
In common law, this is known as the royal prerogative of mercy. Sovereigns hold this privilege. The President of the United States has this right guaranteed by the US Constitution.
It may not have occurred to you, but YOU need the royal prerogative of mercy – DESPERATELY !!!
Before I tell you why, I want to say welcome to “Mornings with Bishop Robert” — thanks for joining me. My goal is to introduce people to the Jesus they never knew, and help them get to know Him and His word personally – and better ! If our time together today speaks to your heart, then let me invite you to like, subscribe and share it with a friend!
Let’s get to the point. The only reason that someone is going to need a pardon is if they have been (or are about to be) convicted of a crime. Conviction leads to confinement, absolute separation from the people who are free.
Built on the high desert in sight of the Colorado Rockies lies ADX Florence. You may know it as America’s “SUPERMAX” prison, the “Alcatraz of the Rockies.” Each 7×12 foot cell has a desk, stool, and bed made out of poured concrete; and inmates spend up to 23 hours a day locked inside. The cell window is 4 inches wide and shows only the roof and sky, making it impossible for a prisoner to determine their location in the facility. It is arguably the most secure prison in the world. No one has ever escaped. Being sent there has been described as a fate worse than death.
The punishment and isolation that will face those who die without Christ make the supermax prison look like a five-star resort hotel.
Thankfully, for those of us who turn to Christ, we are given a sovereign pardon.
Today’s verse says THERE IS NOW NO CONDEMNATION FOR THOSE WHO ARE IN CHRIST JESUS.
That’s great news!!! Once we are in Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life sets us free from the law of sin and death. But as amazing as THAT promise is, it gets even better. If you want to read this amazing “Grant of Pardon” for yourself, you ought to take a look at the eighth chapter of the book of Romans in the bible. It’s astounding. We’ve already seen in the opening example how the guilty go from conviction, to confinement, to absolute separation. In the supermax prison, the isolation inside the soundproof cells is total. But in Romans chapter eight we see the exact opposite. We go from NO CONDEMNATION to TOTAL JUSTIFICATION and then finally on to NO SEPARATION.
We who are forgiven in Christ are promised that God works all things together for the good of those who love Him, those who are called according to His purpose. and when we accept His call, then NOTHING can ever separate us from Him and His love. Paul even says specifically, “I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor principalities, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
You see Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us. When He hung on the cross and paid the price for our sins, He took our curse – our sentence of condemnation. Yes, the grace of God appeared among us, bringing salvation for all people. BUT there’s a “catch,” if you will.
Even a presidential pardon or a royal grant of mercy MUST BE ACCEPTED by the recipient.
A good example of this comes from the US Supreme Court’s ruling on this issue. Chief Justice Marshall wrote, “A pardon is a deed, and delivery is not complete without acceptance. It may be rejected by the person to whom it is tendered; and if it be rejected, we have discovered no power in a court to force it on him.”
The same is true of God’s offer of pardon. He has made an offer to you and me. IF we accept, we have no condemnation and get to remain with Him for eternity. But He will not force it upon us. George Wilson is the only man in the history of the United States to have been offered a Full Pardon by the President and refused it. In the end, he was hanged.
You have an offer of FULL PARDON on the table before you from the Sovereign of the Universe. But, like every other pardon in history, it must be ACCEPTED to become effective.
What’s your decision ???
THERE IS NOW NO CONDEMNATION FOR THOSE WHO ARE IN CHRIST JESUS