Scripture Reading: â€œâ€¦that thou mightest be justified when thou speakest, and be clear when thou judgest.â€ (Psalm 51:4)
Knowing that God was a personal eyewitness to his undeniable and inexcusable crimes, David was left without defense. He was forced to plead guilty and to throw himself on the mercy of the heavenly bar. Furthermore, he knew that his conviction would be â€œclearâ€ and his condemnation â€œjustified.â€ There would be neither question nor controversy over Godâ€™s rendering of such a judgment against him.
Thanks to the law, all sinners, like David, are left without defense before God. According to the Apostle Paul, the law left all sinners undeniably and inexcusably guilty before GodÂ Â (Romans 3:19). God said â€œDoâ€ and we didnâ€™t; God said â€œDonâ€™tâ€ and we did. Therefore, â€œthe worldâ€ stands â€œguilty before Godâ€ and â€œevery mouthâ€ is â€œstoppedâ€ from making excuses or attempting to exonerate itself.
Godâ€™s conviction and condemnation of this fallen world would be clearly justified. Yet, God offers to us a divine pardon for our inexcusable crimes against Him. It is a pardon offered without compromising Godâ€™s justice thanks to the fact that Godâ€™s Son paid the full penalty for our sins on the cross of Calvary. With every sin punished in Christ, every sinner can be pardoned at Christâ€™s expense. As incomprehensible as it is to believe that God would go to such lengths to forgive the unforgivable, what is even more incomprehensible is that the vast majority of the unforgivable refuse to accept the divine pardon.
In 1829, President Andrew Jackson pardoned George Wilson, a murderer sentenced to be hanged in Pennsylvania. Wilson, however, refused to accept his presidential pardon. President Jackson, insisting that a pardon was a pardon whether accepted or not, demanded that Wilsonâ€™s execution be halted until the Supreme Court could decide the matter. The Court decided, much to Jacksonâ€™s chagrin, that a pardon is not a pardon until it is received.Â
â€œA pardon is a paper, the value of which depends upon its acceptance by the person implicated. It is hardly to be supposed that one under sentence of death would refuse to accept a pardon, but if it is refused, it is no pardon.â€Â (Chief Justice John Marshall)