Paul says we Christians are running a race. Here's what I'm looking at on my run toward Christ.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Celebrating Tax Day

April 15th is Tax Day in America.  On this day every year Americans are required to file their tax returns.  No one, barring an IRS agent or an accountant, likes to see April 15th on the calendar.  Today we are reminded that we owe money to the government.  Now, many of us get a refund but that only means that we've overpaid during the year.  Some of us while filing taxing realize that we owe the Federal or State government money.

Owing taxes, paying taxes, having debt is a never ending reality in our lives.  As a wise man has said the only thing guaranteed in this life is death and taxes.  And we all seem to get in various forms of other debt in our lives: student loans, credit cards, car loans, home loans, etc.

The problem with debt is that it must be paid or we'll be punished.  Try not paying your taxes and see how that works out for you.  Take a look at people like Wesley Snipes who neglected paying taxes, he ended up in prison.

Human being are in immense debt spiritually.  We have acquired a deadly sin debt.  "For the wages of sin is death..." Romans 6:23 says.  Our debt earns us death.

But that is not what we get through Jesus Christ.  The entire verse of Romans 6:23 says, "For the wages of sin is death, BUT the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord."

Jesus paid our debt through His atoning sacrifice on the cross.  Let's take a look at Jesus' final words on the cross.

"Later, knowing that all was now completed, and so that the Scripture would be fulfilled, Jesus said, 'I am thirsty.'  A jar of wine vinegar was there, so they soaked a sponge in it, put the sponge on a stalk of the hyssop plant, and lifted it to Jesus' lips.  When He had received the drink, Jesus said, 'It is finished.'  With that, He bowed His head and gave up His spirit."  John 19:28-30

"It is finished."  The book of Matthew says that Jesus cried this out with a loud voice.  But what did Jesus mean and what does this have to do with paying my debt?

The Greek word that John records in his Gospel that Jesus said is, "tetelestai".  This word literally does mean, "It is finished."  Of course, we take hope in this phrase because it means that on the cross Jesus accomplished everything necessary for salvation.

During Jesus' life on earth "Tetelestai" was also commonly written at the bottom of receipts to indicate that the bill was paid in full.  See, when Jesus said, "It is finished" He was announcing that our sin debt was paid in full, not that it will be paid in full but that it was paid in full.  Christ did not shout, "I owe you", He said "It is finished" or "Paid in full".

You don't need to worry about your immense sin debt, because it has been paid in full.  If you have accepted Jesus' signature on the bottom of your life's receipt you never need to worry again about the debt because it is finished.  We don't need to earn this either because "...the wages of sin is death, but the GIFT of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord."  Jesus paid for our sins as a gift that we could never earn.  It cost Him so much to pay our debt, but for you and I it is a free gift.

On Tax Day we settle our account with Uncle Sam and hope that we get a refund.  But on Tax Day and all days we must only be thankful to God for paying our debt and we must rest in the hope that Jesus paid it all.

Thank Jesus for paying your sin debt, today.


  1. That's really cool that the same Greek word was used on receipts for bills paid!! I love historical connections that help us better understand our Lord's character. :)

    "Oh, praise the One who paid my debt, and raised this life up from the dead!"

  2. Steph, I had that song stuck in my head as I wrote this.