Justice and Mercy

The soul that sins shall die. – Ezekiel 18:4,20

We owe to God a debt of punishment for sin. Was that debt due or not? If the law was right, the penalty ought to be exacted. The law, then, being a righteous law, and the penalty just, shall God do an unjust thing? Would you have Him to be unjust? He had declared that the soul that sinned should die; would you have God to be a liar? Shall He eat His words to save His creatures? The law’s sentence must be carried out. It was inevitable that if God maintained the prerogative of His holiness, He must punish the sins that men have committed. How, then, should He save us? Behold the plan! His dear Son, the Lord of glory, takes upon Himself human nature, comes into the place of as many as the Father gave Him, stands in their standing, and when the sentence of justice has been proclaimed, and the sword of vengeance has leaped out of its scabbard, behold the glorious Substitute bares His arm, and He says, “Strike, O sword, but strike Me, and let My people go.” Into the very soul of Jesus the sword of the law pierced, and His blood was shed, the blood, not of one who was man only, but of One who, by His being an eternal Spirit, was able to offer up Himself without spot unto God, in a way which gave infinite efficacy to His sufferings. He, through the eternal Spirit, we are told, offered Himself without spot to God. Being in His own nature infinitely beyond the nature of man, comprehending all the natures of man, as it were, within Himself, by reason of the majesty of His person, He was able to offer an atonement to God of infinite, boundless, inconceivable sufficiency. What our Lord suffered none of us can tell. I am sure of this: I would not disparage or under-estimate His physical sufferings-the tortures He endured in His body-but I am equally sure that we can none of us exaggerate or over-value the sufferings of such a soul as His; they are beyond all conception…”Yet it pleased the Father to bruise Him; He hath put Him to grief. “Now, therefore, God is able to forgive sin. He has punished the sin on Christ; it becomes justice, as well as mercy, that God should blot out those debts which have been paid. ~ C.H. Spurgeon


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