Thursday, March 17, 2005 Forgive Us Our Trespasses
If you, O LORD, kept a record of sins, O Lord, who could stand? But with you there is forgiveness; therefore you are feared. Psalm 130:3-4
A former convict named Jean Valjean is the main protagonist of Victor Hugo’s epic novel Les Miserables. After 19 years spent in the hard labor prison in Toulon for stealing a loaf of bread, Valjean is sent on parole. One day, after walking for 30 miles, he stops at the home of bishop, Monsieur Myriel, and seeks shelter there. During the night, Valjean steals the bishop’s prized silver and runs off, only to be captured again. When the police make Valjean confront Myriel, the bishop claims silver was a gift. The police accept the bishop’s story and when Valjean and Myriel are left alone, the bishop gives the convict this “benediction”:
‘Jean Valjean, my brother, you no longer belong to evil, but to good. It is your soul I am buying for you, I withdraw it from dark thoughts and from the spirit of perdition and I give it to God!’
Valjean rises above what he was and becomes an outstanding member of society, taking pity on the unfortunate and changing the lives of others.
We all are like Valjean, and the bishop can be seen as a type of Christ. Even though we rebelled against God, broke His law and went against His will, He still saved us from hell. Like Valjean, one who deserved justice and our punishment redeemed us.
What might have happened had the bishop turned in Jean Valjean? Most likely, he would have spent the remainder of his years in jail. Had the Father not sent Jesus to save us, we would have found an even worse fate! After the bishop “saved” Valjean, he became a better person. We too, should strive to improve ourselves because of what Christ has done for us.
Since Jesus Christ has saved us, we find new life in our salvation. Our sin has been blotted out forever and forgotten by the Father. Because of Jesus’ death and resurrection, we are now free to stand triumphant with God as His sons and daughters. No longer do we fear death or the fires of hell. 
My God, I thank You that You have sent Your beloved Son to save me from all sin. Forgive me when I sin, and help me to resist temptation. I pray that You would increase my faith and lead me to eternal life. In Your most holy name, I pray. Amen
O God, you have called us to be your children, and have promised that those who suffer with Christ will be heirs with him of your glory: Arm us with such trust in him that we may ask no rest from his demands and have no fear in his service; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen