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‘While we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.’ (Romans 5:8)
Just a few days ago, I was listening to an Italian conversation.
I could not understand what was being said, but the word ‘scot-free’ popped up right in the middle of a sentence and it struck me as quite odd!
It sparked my interest, so I looked up the origin of the word. It has nothing to do with Italy – or Scotland for that matter. It is actually an old English word and its origin lies in medieval England where the ‘scot’ was a land or property tax levied on local people.
For those living in more challenging places, way up the hillside or perhaps prone to flooding, the tax did not have to be paid. Hence, those people got off ‘scot-free’.
Word meaning and usage evolves over time and nowadays we use the word in situations where someone manages to avoid punishment even though they deserve it.
Perhaps this is one way of explaining what Jesus did for all humanity when he gave his life for us on the cross. His sacrifice released us from our debt of wrongdoing. Jesus took our place and we get off scot-free or debt-free.
We are undeserving and yet the debt is paid on our behalf. What an amazing God we have.
Rev Christine Fulcher,
Kilmore and Oban Parish Church.