You know the drill: you’re watching a movie or tv show where the villain is so horrible you can’t wait to “see them get what they deserve” in the end. The concept of them earning punishment, pain and death is powerful. Why?
In a word- “justice”.
Consider what God has done for self-serving people who moment by moment, day in and day out over a lifetime act in the practical as if they themselves are God. The ultimate blasphemy, the biggest and most common of lies ever believed and sometimes boldly uttered is that we ourselves ARE deity.
So what have we earned? What do we deserve? Is that what Jesus coming into the world, suffering and dying -the Sinless for the sinners- offering the gift of eternal life to the undeserving, the Righteous One’s extreme suffering for the unrighteous… is that why He came, to simply pay us for our denial of Him and His truth, rejecting His qualifications to be our Lord and Savior?
This is yet another reason I take issue with attitudes of harsh judgment against others, inhumanity towards “the least of these”. It is a goat-like (and not as His sheep -see Jesus’s words at the end of Matthew 25) attitude.
Do the unrighteous deserve to drive on roads paid for by others? Do the addicts deserve to simply die if they bring no money into the national or state coffers? Why should public-funded police and fire departments risk their very lives to save the guilty, the lazy, those we judge to be “no accounts”? Do we believe such people deserve public libraries or postal services?
See, if we’re thinking deeper and brutally honest our own ungodly, ungracious judgment of others places us in the very space where unless God Himself brings us repentance and forgiveness we’re all doomed because we’ll only get what we deserve, nothing but what we’ve earned.
Thank God this is not His deepest desire. Mercy is in His character and not merely or only harsh, sharp judgment.
Jesus is the Grace-Giver Who in humility sets us the example in washing the feet of all at His table- including the one He knows is about to betray Him to arrest and crucifixion.
Jesus is the God-man Who works a miracle in healing the ear of someone coming to arrest and crucify Him the moment after one of His disciples chops it off.
We don’t have an account of what happened to the second individual but we know Judas had an ending much like many sad souls who have chosen their own path rather than walk with the Lord.
But for the grace of God the righteous and unrighteous are in deep trouble.
Sharing, extending God’s grace to others is a “mistake” only when we base it on our own judgment as to whether or not they have earned, deserve what is by definition undeserved favor.
As always, thanks for stopping by. -Glenn