“He’s getting what he deserves”, “throw the book at him”, “lock him up and throw away the key”, “that’s poetic justice”. These words come off my lips so easily, so righteously, I so often live in this world of justice.
When I look at my sin, I mean really dig deep and look at the sins that I personally commit in the moment or repeat over and over, I have a hard time accepting Christ bore these sins on the tree and I simply go free. The same is true when an injustice is committed towards me and I act in a way that is in my definition “just” to get my proper compensation. I mean they can’t just “get away with that!”. Do I really believe God when he says: “justice is mine, I will repay” (Rom 12:19). Do I really want that “sin” in the other person freely forgiven by Jesus’ sacrifice and they then get to go free? …like I do? I mean don’t we have to pay some price? I have a hard time acknowledging there is no immediate earthly payment of any kind. Don’t we have to do something to make amends or balance the scale?
The answer is “no”. God will extract his just justice (Isa 13:11, Rom 9:14, 15) and “no” Christ paid it all for us who accept the gift that is free. He did it, “it is finished” for all of this, and for all of us.
When making a point of our depravity I often quote Romans 3:23 “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God”. I also skip the passage before where Paul states: This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe”. So all have sinned and all will be made righteous who receive Jesus.
Then again in the following passage in verse 24, Paul states: and are justified freely through his grace through the redemption that came through Jesus Christ”.
Note the word “freely”. Camp there for a moment. We are not bound in this world’s economy where I, or we, have to “do something”. Through Christ we are outside of this powerless and endless justice system of calculating and paying the price to get our sins paid for.
At times I can digest this concept for but a moment, and when I do I slightly apprehend the power, grace, love, scope and majesty of Christ. The “otherworldlines” and expanse of his justice system. The price he paid so that we may go free.
So, take some time to meditate on this. To live in the reality of Romans 3:23 and also the reality of Romans 3:22 and 3:24. I hope you can do this and see Him and bask in his immense reality of “all” and “freely”.
“This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.”