The Justice and Mercy of the Cross

Because Jesus paid the penalty for our sin, we are able to experience all the goodness of God.

Romans 3:23-27

If the heavenly Father is good and loving, why would He allow His Son to be crucified? From our perspective, there is nothing loving in this scene.

To grasp what happened at the cross, we must first understand that the Lord is righteous and just. He does what is right and never contradicts His Word. On the other hand, mankind is sinful and deserving of punishment. God couldn’t simply forgive us, because He would then cease to be just—and justice requires a penalty for sin. Either the Lord had to condemn us all to suffer His wrath, or He needed a plan that would satisfy His justice and allow His mercy.

Before the foundation of the world, the Lord had such a plan in place (Revelation 13:8). Jesus came to earth to be our sin bearer, and the Father placed our guilt and punishment on Him. Because the Savior’s payment satisfied justice, sinful man could be declared righteous.

When we trust in Christ and acknowledge that His payment was made on our behalf, we are forgiven of our sins and blessed with salvation. God’s perfect Son was the only One who qualified to be our substitute, and Jesus did it all willingly. Through an act that appeared cruel and hateful, God’s goodness and love was revealed to the world.

Bible References

23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;

24 Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus:

25 Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God;

26 To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.

27 Where is boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? of works? Nay: but by the law of faith.

Psalm 94

94 O Lord God, to whom vengeance belongeth; O God, to whom vengeance belongeth, shew thyself.

Lift up thyself, thou judge of the earth: render a reward to the proud.

Lord, how long shall the wicked, how long shall the wicked triumph?

How long shall they utter and speak hard things? and all the workers of iniquity boast themselves?

They break in pieces thy people, O Lord, and afflict thine heritage.

They slay the widow and the stranger, and murder the fatherless.

Yet they say, The Lord shall not see, neither shall the God of Jacob regard it.

Understand, ye brutish among the people: and ye fools, when will ye be wise?

He that planted the ear, shall he not hear? he that formed the eye, shall he not see?

10 He that chastiseth the heathen, shall not he correct? he that teacheth man knowledge, shall not he know?

11 The Lord knoweth the thoughts of man, that they are vanity.

12 Blessed is the man whom thou chastenest, O Lord, and teachest him out of thy law;

13 That thou mayest give him rest from the days of adversity, until the pit be digged for the wicked.

14 For the Lord will not cast off his people, neither will he forsake his inheritance.

15 But judgment shall return unto righteousness: and all the upright in heart shall follow it.

16 Who will rise up for me against the evildoers? or who will stand up for me against the workers of iniquity?

17 Unless the Lord had been my help, my soul had almost dwelt in silence.

18 When I said, My foot slippeth; thy mercy, O Lord, held me up.

19 In the multitude of my thoughts within me thy comforts delight my soul.

20 Shall the throne of iniquity have fellowship with thee, which frameth mischief by a law?

21 They gather themselves together against the soul of the righteous, and condemn the innocent blood.

22 But the Lord is my defence; and my God is the rock of my refuge.

23 And he shall bring upon them their own iniquity, and shall cut them off in their own wickedness; yea, the Lord our God shall cut them off.


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Don Moen – In Jesus Name (God of Possible)