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North Charleston SC 29405


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Charleston Bilingual Academy admits students of any race, color, and national or ethnic origin.

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Christmas, Math, and Forgiveness

I was daydreaming the other day. What if, for Christmas, the richest person in the world decided to forgive all of his debtors by removing their debts? That would be quite a gift! Then what if each of those forgiven debtors turned around and forgave all of their debtors? It seemed mathematically possible in my daydream that this forgiveness chain could flow throughout humanity, leaving everyone completely free from debt. Free. Just imagine.

Then in my daydream, I heard a whisper, “I already did it.” I saw that there is an owner who owns everything, thus qualifying Him as the richest being in the world. Sure, we might think we own things, but ultimately we didn't make the things we own ( at least we didn't make the raw materials) and we will not be here on earth forever to ultimately keep them. Psalms says that all animals and all cattle are God’s (Psalms 50:10). And it does make sense that the Author has the Authority. Yep, God is the owner.

But what did He mean when He said “I already did it”? Then I saw in the daydream that we are debtors. Romans 3 explains that our selfishness creates a debt. By living our lives for ourselves, in our strength, pursuing our own purposes and disregarding why He made us, we have broken our relationship with Him. And that brokenness leads to separation from Him forever (our debt). But it would not be free to forgive our debt. Just as it would not be free if Bill Gates or Jeff Bezos decided to forgive all of their debtors. It would cost them greatly.

However, our debt to the eternal God is an eternal debt. So mathematically, we (finite beings) can either pay it off through eternal separation from Him, or an eternal Being can pay it off in a finite amount of time. And that’s where I saw what He meant when He said “I already did it.” Although Jesus came as a baby 2000 years ago, we know that He has always existed- just like when He told the Pharisees that “I am before Abraham ever existed” and how the Gospel of John testifies that Jesus has always been with God and was God (chapter 1). And Jesus, unlike us, came to the earth to perfectly live according to the Owner’s will, even though that “will” was for Him to die. Because mathematically, if an infinite being dies, he can pay the infinite debt even if he only stays dead for 3 days. Whereas if I pay my own debt, I would need an infinite amount of time to pay it off.

While Jesus’ death makes mathematical sense, it sure doesn't make logical sense. Why would He give up His perfect relationship with the Father and Holy Spirit to come suffer infinitely for a rebellious people? Why? Because love just doesn't make sense. 1 John 3:16 says we know love by this, that He gave up his life for us, that we lay down our lives for others.

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16

Christmas means that the richest being in the world has come, out of ridiculous love, to PAY our debt. So let us this Christmas season in turn enjoy forgiving our debtors (Matthew 6:12).

"I already did it" -Jesus (John 9:30).