The world is a messy place. People get hurt, crushed, and even killed because of the selfishness of man. The Old Testament Prophet Jeremiah put it well when he said ‘the heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?’ The awful truth is that this world is broken, and full to the brim of selfish decisions, which tear families apart, crush spirits to pieces, and isolate people because they don’t fit in. Our moral compasses cry out for justice in a world gone wrong, but we are part of this world. We might be victims of injustice, but we are also its perpetrators. We have done things wrong. The bible is clear when it says ‘all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God’ (Romans 3:23.) The truth is that all of us have been carried along by the tide of Sin, and we are all to blame for producing the wrongness of this world.
True as this is, why does it matter? Nobody’s perfect right? But the bible goes further, and tells us something that is so devastating in power, and so terrifying a prospect, that we must consider it, because it concerns the fate of our eternal souls. Here it is: God is Just. God is perfect, and we have broken His law.
The terrible truth is that God is a Judge, and we’re all in the dock of His courtroom. We’re all on trial, and none of us are innocent. Colossians 3:25 makes it crystal clear that ‘he that doeth wrong shall receive for the wrong which he hath done.’ One day, we will all have to ‘stand before the judgement seat of Christ’ and ‘give account’ for what we’ve done (Romans 14:10,12), and God will look at our lives, see them as imperfect, and punish us in Hell for all eternity for our wrongdoing. This is crushing news. God’s Just nature means He cannot tolerate Sin.
What hope is there then? If we’re all condemned by the Justice of an Almighty God, and completely helpless by ourselves, what’s the point of even thinking about it?
The answer to that question is so magnificent, and so profound, that we can’t help but be captivated in awe by it. The Apostle John tells us these striking words: ‘For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.’ This is the most astonishing news of all! God’s heart was so bursting with love for the lost, hopeless sinners of this world that He sacrificed His own Son Jesus to rescue them from the fire and torture of Hell! How did He do it?
The Lord Jesus Christ came in the form of a man, and lived His life on earth perfectly: ‘Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth’ (1 Peter 2:22.); even as a child, He did nothing wrong, deserving no punishment! But shockingly, He was hated. Wicked people falsely accused Him of crime, and Jesus was tortured and finally executed, bleeding and suffocating on a cross in agony. Such a brutal death sounds like a tragedy, but it is not the end of the story, because Jesus’ death had been planned before the foundation of the World! Not only was it planned: it was the most breath-taking event in all of History, because when He died, He took upon Himself our sin, and paid the price for the punishment that would have taken us forever to pay! But that’s not all, just to prove that He had broken sin’s foul chains, Jesus did something so stupendously thrilling and outrageous that it would make anyone stop and think: He rose from the dead!
Acts 16:31 gives us a great promise: ‘And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved.’ If we put our trust in Jesus to cleanse us of our Sin, not only will He do so, but He will go a step further! He will wrap and clothe us‘with the garments of salvation,’ (Isaiah 61:10) meaning that, on the day of Judgement, God will not see our failings, and weaknesses – He’ll see us as though we were completely perfect, because Jesus’ righteousness has been counted for us! This glorious promise means that we no longer need to fear Hell, and we can say with the Apostle Paul: ‘Oh death, where is thy sting? Oh grave, where is thy victory?’ (1 Corinthians 15:55.)
God is Just, God is perfect, but Jesus Christ has kept the Law for us – so now we have this choice. The greatest gift is within our grasp, all we have to do is reach out and take it.