This Sunday, our pastor taught on hell. Hard words any way you try to say it. But one thing he was talking about that I’ve been thinking of a lot is our view of justice.
I often hear complaints of things being unfair – both from others and in my own heart. But do we ever think about what we’re really saying when we say this? We only complain about something being unfair when it directly affects us. Do I think it’s unfair that people get pregnant and abort their babies every day, when I’m spending years of my life, thousands of dollars and time and energy for the chance?
Do I think it’s unfair when a co-worker gets in trouble for not meeting a timeline and I’ve done the same thing and no one’s said anything? Or that my husband and I both have jobs and a house when many people can’t find a steady job no matter how hard they try?
Not really. It may make me thankful to think about this, but I’ll never say “that’s not fair! I should get in trouble too!”
Our version of justice is just that: our version. Justice to Jackie means that if anyone gets anything good, I should get it too. But if anyone gets anything bad, I should avoid that. Now maybe, I’m just delusional, but I’m pretty sure – at least subconsciously – that’s how we all operate.
And if we ran the world, our own little version of justice would be revealed for the self elevating skewed view it is.
Because do you know what we deserve?
All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, (and)
the wages of sin is death…
We deserve death, hell, separation from God forever, eternal condemnation…. because of OUR sin and the evil in our hearts.
God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive in the spirit
We deserve death. Jesus died a gruesome, bloody death on the cross for us. We deserved the wrath of God – the just punishment for our sin. Jesus took upon himself the wrath of God that was meant for us. His blood paid the penalty for our sin. He took the punishment that we deserved. He abolished the infinite chasm between us and God that our sin created. He reconciled us, brought us back to the Father.
If we want to complain about fairness, THAT is not fair – – but out of the great love of the Father, Jesus Christ poured out his mercy on us and saved us, not because of anything we had done, but what He had done. Our version of justice would have the story of salvation look so differently.
My friend has a quote she’s shared with me that says
“God has never once given me what I deserve. And I am exceedingly grateful for that.”
Once we realize what we actually deserve and what Jesus has saved us from, our hearts can be so much more thankful for the abundance he has given us through his grace. The cross alone is so much more than we could ever deserve on our own merit. ANYTHING else we have – life, health, friendships, spouses, children, jobs, homes, material items, community, cars, free time, books, etc – is just the icing on the cake. I pray we won’t get caught up in these minor details of our own version of justice, but rather thank God for his abundant grace and mercy he revealed to us on the cross and how he continues to reveal his goodness through giving us so much more!
Praise be to God that His justice is much better than ours!