Imagine rounding a street corner and witnessing a murder. It almost goes into slow motion as you witness it. You see a man standing over another man who is kneeling. The man standing pulls out a gun, points it at the kneeling man’s head and pulls the trigger. The bullet goes through the kneeling victim’s head and instantly kills him. You are horrified and wonder at the barbarity of this cold-blooded killer. Who would do something so awful to someone? This killer must be evil. There’s absolutely no way he could be good at all.
This looks like a cold-blooded murder from your limited perspective but you have no perspective on the situation. What if I told you the man who was shot was a cold-blooded killer himself – and on top of that, he had a repeated history of being a rapist, a child molester, a thief, and just about every other despicable crime you can think of? What if I told you the man pulling the trigger was the most righteous judge who has ever lived and that he was in charge of carrying out justice upon law-breakers such as the man you witnessed being shot? The man had already had a fair trial and was righteously sentenced to death.
Now what if I told you I was describing our own situation? We hear God mocked because He would dare to be so unloving as to sentence someone to hell. We question His goodness because of His severity of judgment. What we don’t have, just like my story earlier, is the proper perspective. We have committed unspeakable crimes against a holy God who created us. We dared to challenge Him and His righteous laws. We deserve nothing less that the full measure of justice from Him. We are righteously condemned just as the man in the earlier story. The Judge of all the earth shall do right. We must understand the severity of our sin before we can understand the perfect and fair justice of the Judge. And, for those in Christ, we must understand this more and more so we can better grasp the amount of mercy and grace that has been shown to us by the Righteous Judge at the cross.
His mercy endureth forever.