Steven P. Wickstrom
Have you ever had to use a parking garage or lot where you had to pay to park your car? The downtown area and local airport has several of those paid parking lots that you may have used from time to time. The amount you pay depends upon how long you park your car. Parking for an hour or two costs much less than parking for a day or even a week. Some parking garages will allow local businesses to validate your parking ticket so that you pay no fee. If you are like me, that is the kind of deal you prefer.
So how do paid parking lots and garages relate to Christianity? We start out life in the parking lot of sin. We are all born there. Most of us are content to spend our entire lives in that parking lot. What we don't know is that we cannot leave, even if we wanted to. Why not? The problem is that we cannot afford to pay the bill. The fee is just way too much. There is no way that we can pay the penalty for our sin. If you cannot pay the price, the parking lot attendant will not let you leave. To make matters worse, you can't even work to pay the bill. No matter how much good you do, it does not reduce the amount you owe. The penalty for not paying your parking ticket is death. It is a “no-win” scenario. Everyone in the parking lot is in serious trouble.
Fortunately God had mercy on us. God sent his son Jesus to the cross to die for our sin. Jesus paid the price that we could not pay. Romans 10: 9-10 says “that if you confess with your mouth Jesus is Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you shall be saved; for with the heart man believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation.” This is the only way out of the parking lot of sin.
When we get saved we give our parking ticket to Jesus. He dips his stamp in his blood that was shed on the cross and validates our parking ticket. Our ticket now has the words “Paid in Full” stamped across the front. Our faith in Jesus Christ will get us out of the parking lot. With that ticket in hand, the Lord Jesus escorts us out of the parking lot of sin.
Now that our tickets are validated, Jesus has a simple job for us; tell others. Tell everybody you know how you got out of the parking lot of sin. Help other people get their tickets validated also. Let them know that Jesus died so that they won't have to suffer the penalty for not paying their parking ticket. It should be our goal to empty the parking lot; will you help?