“The Justice and Mercy of the Cross” by Dr. Charles Stanley

Daily Devotional with Dr. Charles Stanley…

Monday, August 1, 2011

Read | Romans 3:23-27

The cross of Jesus Christ presents us with a dilemma. If the heavenly Father is good and loving, why would He allow His Son to endure the agony of crucifixion? From our human perspective, there is nothing loving in this scene. But by looking beyond the visible, we’ll see an awesome demonstration of love.

To grasp what was going on at the cross, we need to first understand that the Lord is absolutely righteous and just. He always does what is right and never acts contrary to His nature or His Word. On the other hand, mankind is sinful and deserving of eternal punishment. God couldn’t simply decide to forgive us, because He would then cease to be just—justice requires that a penalty be paid for sin. Either the Lord had to condemn us all to suffer His wrath, or He needed to devise a plan that would satisfy His justice, yet allow Him to show mercy.

Praise God that even before the foundation of the world, He already had such a plan in place (Rev. 13:8). The sinless Son of God came to earth in human flesh to be our sin bearer. The Father placed upon Him all our guilt and punishment. Because the Savior’s payment fully satisfied divine justice, sinful man could now be declared righteous. Justice punished sin, and mercy rescued sinners.

Now anyone who accepts Christ’s payment on his behalf can be saved. God’s goodness and love were proved by the very act that looked cruel and hateful. This was the sole plan that could save us, and God’s perfect Son was the only one qualified to be our substitute. And Jesus did it all willingly.

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