78-year-old Tona Herndon of Bethany, Oklahoma, was still grieving after the loss of her husband of 60 years. She was visiting her husband’s grave two weeks after he died when she became the subject of a crime. As she was getting back into her car at the cemetery, a man surprised her and violently snatched her purse from her arm.
In her purse were all of her credit cards, her personal information, and $700 cash.
Police say this man tried to use one of her credit cards at a nearby Neighborhood Wal-Mart. A surveillance camera caught him leaving the store. This enabled the police to apprehend the robber. The incident and the mug shot of the robber were later reported on television news.
15-year-old Christian Lunsford was watching the news and instantly recognized the robber’s picture. It was his father. His parents were divorced when he was 2-years-old. Christian told CBS News that his father was mostly absent all of his life and in-and-out of jail over half a dozen times. The last time Christian heard from his father was a few weeks prior to seeing his mug shot on TV. His father had given him $250 so that he could go on a trip with his high school marching band.
Having seen and heard about his father’s latest crime, Christian resolved to do something for the grieving widow whom his dad had robbed. He arranged a meeting with her in a church parking lot. When they met, he apologized to the woman for his father’s actions. “It needed to be done,” Christian Lunsford told CBS News. “She needed an apology from somebody. If I didn’t apologize, who would?”
Christian told Herndon about the money that his father had given him for the band trip, and pulling it out of his wallet, he gave it to her as partial payment for his father’s crime.
“I thought that was so, so precious,” Herndon said. “Any 15-year-old boy who has that much conscience is extraordinary.”
Herndon told Steve Hartman of CBS News that she accepted the money back and that it was hers to do with what she wanted. After receiving the money from his hands,
Herndon said to Christian, “I want you to go on your band trip.” And she gave the money back to him. *
Due to our sin, YOU and I owe a tremendous debt. We do not have enough resources to “pay” the debt for even one of our sins.
But Someone has paid our debt for us…..
God loves us so much that He gave His Son (John 3:16) to pay the debt for our sins. “In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace” (Ephesians 1:7).
The blood of Jesus removes the debt of those who will: place their faith and trust in Jesus (Acts 16:30-31), repent of their sin (2 Corinthians 7:9-10), confess Jesus before men (Romans 10:9-10), and be baptized (immersed) in the name of Jesus for the forgiveness of sins (Acts 2:38). The blood of Jesus continues to keep one’s record clean as he continues to live for the One who made His redemption possible (1 John 1:7).
When we accept God’s forgiveness on His terms, we are able to sing “a new song” (words by Ellis J. Crum):
“He paid a debt he did not owe
I owed a debt I could not pay
I needed someone, to wash my sins away
And NOW I sing a brand new song, ‘Amazing Grace.’
Christ Jesus paid the debt that I could never pay.”
Won’t YOU allow the blood of Christ to cover the debt of YOUR sin by submitting YOUR life to Him in trusting obedience?