She replies, "Oh, yes officer. We're just fine. Was I doing something wrong?"
The officer says, "Well sister, you were traveling way under the speed limit and I was concerned that you might be having car trouble or something."
"But officer", the nun interrupts, "I saw a sign there about a mile back that said 24, and I know I wasn't going any faster than that."
Chuckling, the trooper says, "Sister, that was a state highway route marker, this is State Route 24, not the speed limit. The speed limit signs have a MPH at the bottom."
"Oh, now don't I feel foolish!" replied the nun, turning red.
"That's ok, but please try to be more careful, I would hate to see you get hurt," finished the officer.
Then, as he turns to say good-bye to the nuns in the back seat, he notices for the first time that they are trembling violently and quite pale. "Sister, what is wrong with your friends? Can I escort you to a hospital?"
"Oh, no, they're all right. We just turned off of Route 135."
I don’t know about you, but I’m glad we don’t have to live our lives by the letter of the law! And I am not alone. So was the Apostle Paul. He tells us in the New Testament that he tried his best to observe the strictest letter of the Old Testament law, only to come up short every single time.
In his New Testament letter to the Galatians (3:23-27), he states:
Before the coming of this faith, we were held in custody under the law, locked up until the faith that was to come would be revealed. So the law was our guardian until Christ came that we might be justified by faith. Now that this faith has come, we are no longer under a guardian. So in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith, for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ.
The term translated as “guardian” in the New International Version is the Koine Greek (or common language of the New Testament world) term “paidagógos”, from which we get “pedagogue”, or teacher. In its original context, the term meant, not merely a teacher, but “a slave who had charge of the life and morals of the boys of a family”.
Paul’s point is that the law served a purpose; but that purpose was only to point him to the grace of Christ. The famed Reformer Martin Luther contended that the purpose of the Old Testament law was twofold: (1) to show us what level of perfection was expected by God and (2) to show us that we could not ever hope to achieve that level of righteousness.
Therefore, we are driven to God’s Son to beseech Him for His gracious mercy. When we do this, we are clothed in His righteousness. For this reason, and for this reason alone, we can stand before a holy and righteous God and claim our inheritance in Heaven.
Paul understood this; and for this reason, he repeatedly praises God in the New Testament for doing for him what he could not hope to accomplish on his own. For my part, I understand this sentiment.
And I thank God each and every day for this grace made possible through His Son Jesus Christ. Because of His atoning work, I do not have to try and earn my way into Heaven – something which I could never hope to do anyway!
For you see, like Paul, I have done the math. And I know that my own righteousness does not add up. Its sum total will simply never be enough! Thank God, therefore, for the One Whose righteousness is and does! And thank God that in His grace, He has imputed the righteousness of his One and only and perfect Son, Jesus Christ, to me!
SOURCE: Available widely on the internet in different versions. See, for example: http://www.makeitclearnow.org/relhumor.html.
SCRIPTURE SOURCE: http://biblehub.com/text/galatians/3-24.htm.