There is a fine line between God’s law and His grace. God is both just and merciful. He is both a God of wrath and a God of love. His attributes don’t contradict but complement each other. I think people are focusing so much on God as a God of love that they are forgetting His wrath. When Adam and Eve sinned in the garden God cursed them and banished them (Genesis 3). When Uzzah touched the ark of the covenant to keep it from falling into the mud God struck him dead (1 Samuel 6). And when people were desecrating the temple in Jerusalem with their trade Jesus made a whip out of cords and drove the people out (John 2:13-21). He is a God of wrath and when we disobey Him, dishonor Him, and make a mockery of His Word He is sure to correct us however He desires. And He is completely just in doing so.
I say all that to bring us to the cross. When Jesus died, He appeased God’s wrath. He took all of God’s wrath onto Himself for our salvation and His glory. He bore the wrath of God so that the children of God wouldn’t have to. And if indeed we are the children of God then we don’t have to live under God’s wrath. Instead, He has grace on us when we fail. That doesn’t mean that we can then live however we want for if we truly love God then we will desire to obey Him and follow His Word. But He will extend grace when we make mistakes along our journey of sanctification. God is a God of grace and amazing love because He made a way for us to be shielded from the weight and fury of His wrath. But for those who reject Him, and for those who confess with their mouth but deny Him with their life, they will not escape the wrath of God. Judgement Day is coming and God will not be merciful to those who do not fear Him. Oh but the wonderful love and grace He will display for those He calls His children.
This message of wrath and grace is for sinners. It is for homosexuals, liars, cheaters, and adulterers. It is for people with addictions, people who are striving for perfection, people who are angry, depressed, and hurting. This message is for you and me. Without God’s wrath and without His law we wouldn’t know grace because there would be no need for it. So on this Good Friday I encourage us all to be reminded of God’s wrath and of Jesus’s death which appeased God’s wrath and brought about our salvation. What amazing grace God has on us to sacrifice His Son to shield us from His wrath, to pay the penalty for our sin, and, in the resurrection of Jesus, to give us hope. There is no greater love.
Happy Easter everyone.