I’m reading The Gospel For Real Life by Jerry Bridges and one of the chapters is about God’s justice. For me, knowing that God is the ultimate Judge, Jury, and Jailkeeper allows me to rest, not wanting to seek retribution or revenge on those who treat me wrongly or in some way, lie and cheat their way through life. I know that, in the end, ultimate justice will prevail.
If you’ve ever been the victim of a crime or know someone who has, you wants justice. You want the person who committed the crime to receive justice and to pay the penalty for the crime they committed against you, your family, or against society at large. You want them to pay, plain and simple. Like you, I want justice to be swift and I want it to be severe.
But what if you’re the person who committed the crime? You don’t want that. In fact, you hope for mercy or even a miscarriage of justice. A miscarriage of justice. Let that sink in a bit. That would be the wrong person paying the price for someone else’s crime. It would mean that an innocent man would pay the penalty.
Now, place yourself as the criminal. You are the one who committed the heinous crime… and yet, somehow, there has been a miscarriage of justice… an innocent man is paying the penalty for your crime. Do you cry out to save this man? Do you contact the authorities and let them know that they’ve got the wrong man? Probably not. The law of self-preservation is at work and you (and I) remain silent. Got to save our own skin, after all.
Now, right in front of you, the sentence is being carried out… the death penalty… and you’re being forced to watch. Well, maybe not forced, but you can’t miss it. It’s right in front of you. It’s up there… there He is… hanging on a cross.
To understand the grace of God, you and I must understand the justice and holiness of God. God hates sin, but loves you and I. A penalty had to be paid… and in an unfathomable act of love, God sent his own Son to carry out His justice and to show us His love.
It was His justice being served ON HIMSELF… on an innocent man.
Today, mindful of that, I am thankful for and worshipful of that man: Jesus.