God is a God of Justice, Mercy and Grace.
Justice, Mercy and Grace: how would you define these?
Justice is receiving that which we deserve.
Mercy is not getting the punishment that we so rightly deserve but receiving forgiveness.
And grace is the unmerited or the undeserving favour and blessings of God to the undeserving.
The concept of justice and righteousness are profoundly connected in the Bible. Romans 3:23 says “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God”. In actuality, we deserve to be punished for our sins, but God is a God of Mercy. His Love and mercy do not contradict His Justice. There is no overpass of justice to accommodate mercy. God’s mercy and justice meet at the cross. His mercy is shown through His justice. Sin was punished by the shedding of Christ’s blood and it is only through Christ’s sacrifice that the penalty of sin is paid for and God extends His mercy to undeserving sinners who look to Him for salvation.
Romans 3:24 says “All are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus”.
God presented Christ as a sacrifice of atonement, through the shedding of his blood—to be received by faith.
Let us never stop being in awe and gratitude of the magnitude of God’s love for us when we think of the cross.
As I reflected on this, I was reminded of the movie Saving Private Ryan, the film draws on the story of a soldier and the “Sole survivor directive” designed to keep families from losing every one of their sons. In the movie, Captain Miller receives orders to locate and rescue Private Ryan, whose three brothers had been killed in the war within a few months of each other. Private Ryan was what was known as a “sole-surviving son” and the War Department wanted to send him back to his mother. He had gone missing and captain Miller and his team of men had to find and rescue Private Ryan. Eventually, they find Private Ryan and send him back home—but at great cost to Captain Miller and his men. In an emotionally charged scene of the film, a now old Private Ryan is shown visiting the graves of the men who sacrificed their lives to save him. He turns to his wife and says with tears in his eyes; “Tell me I’ve lived a good life”, “Tell me that I’m a good man”. That scene always touched me so much. He understood the gravity of what those men did for him and he wanted to honour that sacrifice and not disregard it or trivialise it.
How much more should we honour the sacrifice that Christ freely gave for us. With hearts full of gratitude let us be committed to living our lives in light of Jesus’s sacrifice.