Grace and Justice Meet at the Cross

Every wrong committed will be wholly punished.  God doesn’t play with sin.  There are no cute or playful sins in his book.  “For whoever keeps the whole law but fails in one point has become guilty of all of it” (James 2:10).  The wages of sin is death (Rom. 6:23), and the destination for sinners is hell.  No one can escape this verdict by his or her own power.

As thoroughly encompassing are his judgments against all sinners, we can expect his consistency.  He won’t let transgressions simply slide under his radar.  All of his judgments are true and just (Rev. 16:7).  To maintain that measure, he can’t soften his expectations. 

If God is the standard, and he has communicated it to us through the Law, what will our punishment be for the great offenses we have accumulated upon our records?  I have good news for you today – you don’t have to pay for your penalty because someone has already paid it for you!  The justice of God ensures that no sinner’s punishment can be avoided, but it can be atoned.  At the cross of Jesus, we see that God’s justice and God’s mercy are not two conflicting traits within God, but they are two complimenting attributes of God.  

Justice was served for the heaven-bound believer upon the wounds of the heaven-sent Savior.

How can God be both good and just?  In the Christian faith, these two apparently warring enemies befriend one another at the cross.  In Jesus’ willing sacrifice, God is offering grace, and yet, through the punishment, he is maintaining justice.  “It was to show His righteousness at the present time, so that He might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus” (Rom. 3:26).  Not only is God the just, but he is also the justifier.  For those who have faith in Jesus, God’s justice is satisfied in the substitutionary death of Jesus.

There exist only two categories of people.  Every one of us will pay for our sins eternally, or Jesus has already paid for them entirely.  For those rebelliously bent on receiving justice for eternity in hell, this life on planet Earth will be as close to heaven as they will ever experience.  For those humbly receptive to trusting by faith for eternity in heaven, this life on planet Earth will be as close to hell as they will ever know. 

Has Jesus paid the penalty for you or does your record still show a debt of which you cannot afford?

The soul who sins will die (Ezek. 18:20), but God is eagerly desirous to show us grace.  “Therefore the LORD longs to be gracious to you, and therefore, He waits on high to show mercy to you.  For the LORD is a God of justice; blessed are all those who long for Him” (Isa. 30:18).  His justice and mercy are satisfied in the person of Jesus.  Thank God that, in Christ, we will not get what we deserve.  “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9).  God is not a pushover.  Sin must be paid, but Jesus has enough in his account to cover you.  This mercy he delivers is free but not cheap.  The payment your sins required was not overlooked in part but paid in full.