The True Gospel
Open Your Bible
Colossians 2:8-15, Deuteronomy 10:16-17, Matthew 15:1-9, Matthew 28:5-6
BY Erin Davis
Close your eyes and picture it. Imagine you’re living a nightmare version of some legal television show. You’re the defendant and you’re as guilty as the day is long. Your crime was heinous. Your denial, futile. Every piece of evidence has worked like a nail in your coffin. There’s no chance of acquittal. With sweaty palms and a racing heart, you wait to hear the gavel drop with the finality of your conviction. But then—it doesn’t. The judge offers you a pardon instead.
Go ahead, feel your shoulders drop. Breathe the breath you’ve been holding inside your chest. Your conviction has been overturned. Your undeniable guilt is stricken from the record. Wonder anew at the beautiful truth that instead of a gavel, you’ve been given the gospel. Your conviction has been overturned. Your undeniable guilt is stricken from the record. Because of Jesus, you’ve moved from incarcerated to liberated, from the death sentence to the promise of life eternal.
God’s Word is clear: we will have our day in court (Hebrews 9:27). Judgment is an inescapable reality. But consider carefully who has the right to sit on the bench. It is Jesus who “disarmed the rulers and authorities and disgraced them publicly, he triumphed over them in him” (Colossians 2:15).
We’ve all violated God’s perfect law. If sin is in the judgment seat and death in the jury box, we will be found guilty. But Hallelujah! No one has the right to judge us but Jesus. And because of Him, sin and death have no claim over us. “For the entire fullness of God’s nature dwells bodily in Christ, and you have been filled by him, who is head over every ruler and authority” (v.9).
Child of God, sin has no authority to rule you because Christ reigns inside of you. Death has no right to accuse you because Jesus conquered death for you. Every authority that could condemn you was defeated by Christ’s death and resurrection. The apostle Paul says it beautifully: “[Jesus] erased the certificate of debt, with its obligations, that was against us and opposed to us, and has taken it away by nailing it to the cross” (v.14).
This is our gospel hope. The jury has been dismissed. No one else has jurisdiction here—only our Savior. The only authority that remains is Jesus. He knows we deserve condemnation, yet He offers us grace instead.