God could have taken away sin, by taking away the sinner, as he took away the sin of the old world; but here is a way of doing away sin, yet sparing the sinner, by making his Son sin, that is, a sin-offering, for us.
I find that so often Christians are so quick to want God to punish other people’s sins, especially the sins of those who do “really bad things” like the heinous crimes Jahar is accused of. We recognize that God is holy and just, and thus, that sin needs to be punished. We want God to deal harshly with the sinner. Well, that is, until it’s our sins that we’re talking about and we’re the sinner at hand. Then we want nothing but mercy, grace, and forgiveness from God.
If we are going to be consistent, however, and sin is to be punished without a chance for mercy, then we’re all in trouble. After all, “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23) and “the wages of sin is death” (Romans 6:23).
But the good news is that at the cross, justice and mercy meet in perfect unity, and the doors are opened for every sinner to enter in and find forgiveness and grace. Yes, that even includes Jahar.
What we need to realize is that outside of Christ, we would be under every bit as much of a death sentence before God as Jahar is. But in Christ, he can experience the very same grace that we have and can stand before God just as perfect, spotless, blameless, holy, and innocent—yes, innocent—as we now do.
If you find yourself having a hard time praying for Jahar’s salvation and desiring that Jahar would be in heaven one day because he doesn’t deserve such blessings, you’re right, he doesn’t. But remember that none of us deserve them. If it’s about what is deserved, you and I all would be on the path to hell right now. But by God’s grace alone, we have been granted forgiveness and eternal life, and having experienced such grace, let us be quick to desire it for those the world deems as unworthy.
We’re all just beggars and thieves in need of the very same grace.
-Rhett Walker Band