April 06, 2007

The Cross

Romans 3:21-26

God presented him as a sacrifice of atonement. ... to demonstrate his justice ... Romans 3:25


God forgives our sins. This is such common knowledge that we are often not amazed. Yet we ought to be.

After all, bred into our bones is the conviction that evil must be punished. We rightly feel outraged when some?one gets away with murder, or when torturers live out their days in secluded luxury. Should God forgive the wicked? Is that fair? What about the victims of their wickedness?

The Bible itself repeatedly tells judges to condemn the guilty (see Deuteronomy 25:1). Proverbs 17:15 adds, "Acquitting the guilty and condemning the innocent--the LORD detests them both." God is holy. He cannot turn a blind eye to sin or give it free rein in his creation. God has been most forbearing toward us.

Here is a question to consider carefully: How can a holy God declare sinners righteous without either condoning sin or compromising his holiness?

God's answer is the cross. Here is a forgiveness that shows God is irreconcilable to evil. James Denney writes, "Nothing else in the world demonstrates how real is God's love to the sinful, and how real the sin of the world is to God."

There are those who despise the gospel because of the cross, saying there's too much blood in it. On this day we say that the blood is the reason we embrace the gospel.

Lord Jesus, we thank you for becoming one with us and taking on the punishment we de?served. Thank you, Lord God, for forgiving us through Jesus' gift of his life for ours. Amen.

About the author — Jack Roeda

Rev. Jack Roeda is the senior pastor at Church of the Servant Christian Reformed Church, Grand Rapids, Michigan, and an adjunct professor of preaching at Calvin Theological Seminary. He is married to Carol Sue Kok, and they have three children and two grandchildren. Pastor Roeda has served two previous churches: Exeter (Ont.) Christian Reformed Church and Calvary Christian Reformed Church, Holland, Michigan.

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