Let me tell you about one of my least favorite Australian realities: speed cameras. Ugh, just saying those two words makes me feel ill. You see, in the US, where I’m from, you receive a speeding ticket by being pulled over by an actual officer and given an actual ticket. It’s still no fun, but it is decidedly more, well, human.
Perhaps like you, I’ve been pulled over by a police officer when I’ve been guilty of speeding. There’s always that feeling of your heart dropping when you see the flashing lights in the mirror. Then there’s the embarrassment of being on the side of the road while everyone drives by thinking the same thing you think when you see someone on the side of the road with a police officer. Then there’s the fine.
Or maybe not.
Perhaps like me, you’ve been given a mere warning. What a feeling that is! I should know, it’s happened to me several times. In fact, it used to happen to me pretty regularly. You see, my brother is a police officer in my hometown, so whenever I’d get pulled over the officer would ask to see my license. Then they’d see it: “Asscherick.”
Then this: “Say, are you related to Wayne?”
Then my answer: “Yes, he’s my older brother.”
Then this: “Alright, please slow down and have a good day.”
There is One who not only loves us, He is like us! He understands us. He sympathizes with us….
The officer would hand me my license, go back to his car, and drive away. This may not have been the best thing for my driving, I admit, but it definitely made me feel connected. It wasn’t my merit, sweet-talking, or anything else that got me out of several deserved tickets, it was my older brother.
According to Scripture, Jesus is our older brother (Hebrew 2:11). We are connected. There is Someone who knows us and who loves us in high places—heavenly places, in fact (see Ephesians!). He is merciful and forgiving and kind. And He is King (Revelation 19:16).
This is no excuse to sin. Let’s be clear about that.
But unlike Australian speed cameras (where you simply get a ticket in the mail from a camera you didn’t even know you’d passed), there is something very human about it all. There is One who not only loves us, He is like us! He understands us. He sympathizes with us (see Hebrews 4:15-16).
Are you in need of mercy? Of grace? Of forgiveness?
Your Older Brother bears your name. You are connected.
Go and speed no more.