Has everyone been to one of those diners where when you bring the tab up and pay it they pierce it with one of those spikes? Stabbing the tab is a sign of showing that it’s paid.

Let me tell you a story:

There’s a man who was from somewhere completely unlike here who opened a Diner in a town. It was the only Diner there was anywhere. And while He opened this diner in this town, He was not from there. For this story, we’ll just call Him “Father”. The Father knew that at some point He was going to leave the restaurant to His future Son.

And every day all men, women, and children would come and eat in His Diner to their hearts’ content but the Owner just let everyone “put it on their tab”. So every day, every single person had a tab that was growing and growing.

The Father felt like His customers couldn’t relate to Him and demanding all of them to pay Him their full bills bothered His heart. So His Son finally was born, a Native to the Town, and the Father was so pleased to give His customers someone from the Town who was like them. Understood them. Felt and thought like them. Experienced like them. He finally felt He had given the customers an Owner they could work with.

The Son, however, was given the task of reconciling the tabs. This change in management style angered some of the customers and they fought the new policy. The ones who had been eating there all of their lives now had HUMUNGOUS tabs…tabs worth more than they could ever pay. So they’d walk up to the register, The Son beaming smiles at them as He always did, for He loved running His Father’s Diner and serving the men and women of the Town. But many would refuse to pay and curse the Son to His face and often the Father too.

And out from the back the Father would emerge, with a face like stone, full of wrath, and He would throw them from the Diner telling them never to return.

But many would come to the Son, tabs trailing from one end of the Diner to the other, pockets spilling out from the years and years of indulging themselves on the Father’s dime, and would beg the Son to forgive them for their abuse of the Father and Son’s generosity. The Son beamed at them all the brighter, for His heart was in the feeding and the serving, not the collecting. And all the Son would say was, “It’s on the house! Come back soon!” Then the Son Himself would fold up the tab, no matter how long, and pierce it with the paid nail.

The Father is God the Father. The Son is Jesus, God the Son. The Diner is the world. The tabs are our individual collections of sins. And we all are the customers. The paid nail is the cross.

No matter how big and scary the tab. No matter which item you’ve ordered in your life. Bring it to the Son. He has already paid it…He’s just waiting for you to ask Him for His help. just waiting for you to ask Him for His help.

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