On March 4 the Wichita Bar Association held the first ever “Clean Slate Day” in our city. On this day lawyers and other volunteers helped people who are economically disadvantaged get certain eligible criminal convictions expunged through a simplified process at no cost. News reports said 400-500 people showed up to take advantage of this offering.
As you can imagine, when someone has a criminal conviction on their record, it can be difficult to find a job. Companies do background searches on prospective employees, and they tend to eliminate candidates who have broken the law.
It’s no surprise that so many people jumped at the chance to wipe the slate clean and clear their records. I would certainly want to do that if I were ever in that situation. Yes, people who commit crimes deserve to be punished, but being given the opportunity to start over again must be a wonderful thing.
Now, before you start passing judgment on all those “criminals,” let’s just pause for a moment and turn those glaring eyes back toward ourselves. In the most important sense, in God’s eyes, we are all criminals… we all have records we are ashamed of. As Paul put it, “All have sinned, and fall short of the glory of God. (Romans 3:23)”
Praise God that we had a “volunteer” who offered to wipe the slate clean for us! Jesus Christ, God’s only son, paid the price 2000 years ago to have YOUR record expunged.
Do you fully appreciate the great gift you’ve been given? Several hundred of your fellow county residents certainly appreciated their chance to clear their records, and their civil expungement pales in comparison to the eternal importance of having your sins removed “as far as the east is from the west. (Psalm 103:12)”
As we worship our Savior this Easter Sunday, let’s give thanks for his death that enables our slates to be wiped clean. And let’s give thanks that his resurrection defeated death so someday you and I will be raised to a new life with him!