He was a criminal. There were no marks on his record to prove it, but he was a criminal nonetheless. Let’s call him Chef Crafty. My friend runs a catering business and hired the aforementioned cunning culinary individual. She had no idea the damage he would bring. Chef Crafty, you see, also ran his own little freelance catering business on the side.
My friend, we’ll call her Trusty, didn’t think a thing about it. When events where scheduled, food was ordered accordingly. Chef Crafty would cook the food and serve at the event. All the world was happy. Then Trusty noticed the business was going through food rather quickly. Having no reason to suspect any foul play, Trusty just paid the bills as they arrived. Unfortunately, the books weren’t adding up. The profits from the events scheduled were not as great as the bills for the food vendors.
Trusty still had no reason to think anything was amiss, until one weekend she noticed the bill from the vendor covered enough food to feed 1,000, but the business had no events on the schedule. Crafty was in charge of ordering the food he needed, so when his own side business got a job to cater a wedding in the next state, he thought nothing of ordering all the supplies necessary.
When suspicion arose, Trusty called the security company and changed the entrance codes for each of the employees so she could keep track of the comings and goings. She found Crafty coming at 3:15 a.m. She wasn’t able to stop him before he drove her vans, with her gas (during the gas crisis, mind you), using her hot boxes (which he decided to just keep at $300 a box), and all of her plates and utensils – and let’s not forget the food – to the wedding in the next state.
Trusty finally asked the food vendors to email the orders to her before processing. She put a stop to his shenanigans and even put a halt on the order for Crafty to serve his large family an entire Thanksgiving meal on her dime. When Trusty involved the police, she fully thought the story would end in her favor. She was in the right, and he was in the wrong. Right? It didn’t exactly end that way.
My sweet friend Trusty was told the attorney costs would far exceed the money she hoped to regain. The choice was hers – lose more money in court or let Chef Crafty get away. Unfortunately, Trusty did all she could, and Chef Crafty got off free as a bird.
Now, Trusty has an $18,000 food vendor bill compliments of that devious culinary master. She writes checks for $2,000 every week just to pay off the debt of that no-good-dirty-rotten scoundrel. It’s just not fair. It’s not her debt to pay!
I have a debt, too. It’s greater than an $18,000 food bill; it’s a debt for my life. Someone else is paying my dues, as well – Christ. He didn’t have to pay, but He chose to. It’s not fair. It wasn’t His debt to pay, but He gave His life for mine.
Imagine you opened your mailbox tomorrow to find a bill for the national debt. “The government can be responsible for this no longer. Since you are an American citizen, you have been chosen at random to pay this debt for us…” you read. In shock, you drop the letter. How can you pay a debt so large? Immediately, you can list ten reasons why you shouldn’t be responsible, number one being it isn’t your debt.
Guess what? Christ paid a debt bigger than the national deficit. He hung on a cross and died an excruciatingly painful death for me – for my sins. And for yours. Do you understand the grand scale of our debt now? How much more do we owe Him?
Oh, God, I owe you my life. All I am and all I ever hope to be belongs to You. I caused You to die on that cross. You took my sin and my shame. You paid a debt you did not owe. I owed a debt I could not pay. Thank you Jesus for stepping in for one as unworthy as me. Amen.