Amanda Knox and the Finality of our Forgiveness1
Amanda Knox is back in the news, and her situation is a reminder to all who believe in Jesus Christ that the forgiveness of our sins is final! In 2009, Knox was convicted in an Italian courtroom of the murder of her college roommate, Meredith Kercher. Her conviction was overturned on appeal in 2011 when a higher court ruled that the prosecution had ignored vital evidence pointing to her innocence. Recently, Italy’s Supreme Court overturned the acquittal and has insisted that Knox return to Italy to undergo yet another trial on the charge that she and her boyfriend, Raffaele Sollecito, killed Kercher when a sexual encounter among the three turned violent.
I have no idea if Knox is guilty or innocent (but the evidence appears to suggest the latter). What I do know with absolute certainty is that no Christian will ever have his/her verdict overturned by some higher court. There is no court more “supreme” than that of God to which someone, such as Satan, might appeal. His verdict is final. Here is why.
Unlike Amanda Knox, who likely is innocent of the crime with which she is charged, we are all guilty! No one can dispute the evidence. The record of our sin is exhaustive and unimpeachable. So why are we declared innocent and forgiven of our sin? Why is there no possibility that we will ever have our acquittal overturned and be summoned to appear once again in the courtroom of either earth or heaven?
The glorious answer is this: Jesus Christ has appeared in that courtroom on our behalf, has been declared guilty of all our sins, and has suffered the full penalty that such sins demand. Every dictate of divine justice has been satisfied by Jesus in our stead. No charges remain to hold us captive. The verdict of the court is loud and clear: innocent!
But there’s more! Not only have we been acquitted of all guilt and sin and set free from all punishment, but the righteousness of Jesus has been credited to us. We are not only innocent but also just, not only forgiven but righteous in the sight of God.
If you have trusted in Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins and treasure him as the sole ground for your acceptance with the Father, you will never undergo a second trial. No new evidence can be submitted to the court. That’s not to say you won’t commit new sins. You will. But Christ endured the wrath of the Lawgiver and satisfied the demands of eternal justice for all your sins, past, present, and yes, even those sins you’ve yet to commit.
Your forgiveness is final! It is full! It is forever sealed.
It may be some time before we know what happens with Amanda Knox. But there is one thing that I know now. I know what happens now and forevermore for those who trust and treasure Jesus. They are forgiven! They are reckoned as righteous by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone.
“Who shall bring any charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died – more than that, who was raised – who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us” (Romans 8:33-34)!