2:13,14 “When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins, having canceled the charge of our legal indebtedness, which stood against us and condemned us; He has taken it away, nailing it to the cross.”
Colossians 2:13,14 (NIV)
CANCELED. This word has taken on massive global significance now. Everywhere we turn we face fresh, pandemic doses of it and don’t like it. It hurts.
The mere mention of the word “canceled” evokes emotions like anger, despair, disappointment, discomfort, depression, fear. It breeds insecurity. It disrupts. It makes us lose whatever grip we thought we had on predictability. It makes us lose on other fronts too -- like hope, opportunity, comfort, routine.
Certainty, suffocating. Fear on the loose. Empty shelves. Empty expectations. Seasons are gone before they’ve died … and before they’ve birthed. These are unsettling descriptions of the trouble we face.
Everything -- billion-dollar tournaments, sports seasons, flights, weddings, schools, churches, cafes, cinemas -- all are being suspended. We want all the “canceling” to go away.
But God wants us to see “canceled” as a beautiful word too, as positive and powerful and pure as can be. Here’s why:
He cancels SIN. The slate wipes clean, sin no longer is hanging on us. The world’s greatest “virus” was destroyed. Our arrest warrant was canceled, paid by Another, nailed to the Cross. His pardon brings peace (Colossians 2:14).
He cancels accompanying GUILT and SHAME. They both get eviction notices. They both go running. They have no place in the life of the forgiven. Where else can one go to find this elimination, this emancipation? Nowhere.
Only the God of the Bible offers a life free from guilt and shame (Romans 8:1-4).
He cancels the power of DEATH over those who believe. Death holds no permanent grip over the believer. His death conquered ours (1 Corinthians 15:52-57).
And remember this as well, there are a few things that God will never cancel:
HIS LOVE: His love endures forever. Count on it for the long haul (Psalm 136).
HIS TRUTH: Not one dose of needed truth will ever be withheld. He brings it big time. Other “brands” will take shortcuts or false advertise. God’s truth endures to all generations (Psalm 100:5).
HIS MERCY: His mercy is everlasting. It always extends, and always accompanies His justice (Psalm 100:5).
HIS COVENANT PROMISES with people: He keeps them faithfully to a thousand generations (Deuteronomy 7:9).
HIS WORD: Jesus said, “Heaven and earth will pass away but My words will never pass away.” His words stand sure, always relevant. They never cancel, never fade (Matthew 24:35).
A SEEKER’S WELCOME: He never cancels His appointments with earnest seekers. He never casts them out. Those who seek Him find Him. This is God’s guarantee (John 6:37, Jeremiah 29:13).
God’s use of this word sure is powerful.
There’s so much good He brings to whatever He cancels and whatever He never will. Rejoice in this hope … and share it with others too. We all really need it right now.
Reflect: What “canceled/not canceled” Scripture thought most touches you?
A prayer to consider: Heavenly Father, thank You for canceling my sin debt, nailing it to the cross! You really know how to deal with my guilt and shame too. The perfect, finished work of Jesus sees to it all. Hallelujah for this!
Through the power of Your Spirit, help me find rest in believing that Your love, truth, mercy, faithfulness, promises, words themselves, and seeker’s welcome will never be canceled. What tremendous gifts these are! Prompt me to share these great truths with others too. Amen.