"You are the man . . . Why have you despised the commandment of the Lord, to do evil in His sight?" When David showed signs of sorrow, Nathan then said,
"The Lord has also put away your sin; you shall not die."
Jerry then turned back to Psalm 51 and wondered what David's attitude would be when he approached God after his sin was exposed. He slowly read out loud the following words:
"Have mercy upon me, O God, according to Thy lovingkindness: according to the multitude of Thy tender mercies blot out my transgressions. Wash me throughly from mine iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin. For I acknowledge my transgressions: and my sin is ever before me. Against Thee, Thee only, have I sinned, and done this evil in Thy sight."
It was at those words he stopped. They were no longer the expressions of a sinful king of Israel, but they were coming from Jerry's own heart:
"Against Thee, and Thee only, have I sinned." He dropped to his knees as a flood of his own immorality flashed into his mind. He remembered killing innocent people during the war. He recalled all the people he wronged in business, the things he stole as a youth, the lust that burned in his heart, his lies, the hatred and bitterness, his ingratitude for the gift of life, his proud atheistic arrogance, his prejudice against the minister; against God. He thought of the pain that he gave Connie by committing adultery; not once, but many times. A sense of shame enveloped him and he began to sigh deeply and weep like a little child. It seemed that there was a massive weight pushing down on his chest. He couldn't lift his head, but stammered,
"God, I have sinned against You! I deserve to go to Hell. Please forgive me."
As he did so, the weight lifted from his chest, and at the same time it was as though a dark cloud lifted from his tormented mind. From the time he was a child, he knew that Jesus Christ died on the cross for the sins of the world, but suddenly it dawned on him that when Jesus was on the cross so long ago, He was suffering for the sins of Jeremiah P. Adamson. He had never seen the cross as an expression of God's love for him before! This was God in human form taking the punishment due to Jeremiah! The words of Edwin came back to him—He had broken God's Law, but because Jesus paid the fine for him he was free to leave the courtroom.
His eyes fell on verse ten of the Bible that lay open in front of him. Through the tears he said its words as his own prayer:
"Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me."
He sighed again deeply. Words couldn't describe the peace that flooded his mind. God loved him despite his sin, had forgiven him because of the cross, and Jesus Christ through the power of His eternal Spirit had made His residence in him, granting him everlasting life.
To be continued...