I remember many years ago Amy and I were invited out to dinner with friends of ours at a very high-end expensive restaurant outside of Philadelphia. After the meal and as I anticipated paying for Amy and my meal, my friend announced that he would cover our bill in addition to their own. This very generous gesture certainly caught me off guard, especially considering the $25/meal type of restaurant this was.
While that story shows the type of goodness and generosity that we as humans can express to others, our reading today gives us a similar wonderful picture of what our Savior Jesus did for us. In the book of Philemon, we read about the Apostle Paul writing to a man named Philemon who apparently was a slave-owner. From what we can tell based on vs 19, Philemon came to Christ either directly or indirectly because of the influence of Paul himself. Philemon had a slave named Onesimus who apparently had run away and perhaps had gotten caught, or done something else deserving of ending up in a prison. Fortunately for him, he found himself in prison with Paul who had apparently led him to Christ. Paul was now writing to Philemon, encouraging him to take back his runaway slave, who now also happened to be a brother in Christ. Paul even offers the promise in verse 18, “If he hath wronged thee, or oweth thee ought, put that on mine account.”
What a wonderful picture of what Christ symbolically says to the Father in regards to us. Just like my friend paid for my bill and just like Paul offered to pay to take care of anything that Onesimus owed, so too our Savior essentially says to the Father, “Put anything that believer owes (namely, the payment for our sins) on my account.” The price of our sins has been paid for and Christ’s righteousness covers me. Thank God that our sins have been put on Christ’s account!