September 24, 2021

2 Corinthians 5:10
For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each of us may receive what is due us for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad.

I watched a classic old action movie recently and was struck by the really strong satisfaction I felt at the end. The good guys miraculously survived somehow, and the bad guys had sure victory wrenched from their grasp at the last moment, right before they were killed off in spectacular fashion. Yeah! I thought. That’s what those bad guys deserve! They should know better—crime doesn’t pay!

I was struck by how good that ending felt. We love it when justice is served, don’t we? It feels right and satisfying! That’s because we carry a sense of God’s justice within us. All wrongs have a cost, and that cost must be paid. And in that movie, the bad guys sure paid the price!
But as I reflected on how good I felt, it occurred to me… Should I really feel this good when others pay the price for their wrongs? Yes, justice is good and right, so it’s natural that we cheer when justice is served. But I can’t help wondering, ought I be happy when the payment for sin comes due for someone?

And then there’s the bigger problem: what about when I’m in the crosshairs? What if I’m the one being judged for my wrongs and sins? Do I want justice served on me like in that movie, with everyone cheering at my demise?

Good grief, no! I don’t want justice for myself. I want mercy.

As our passage today indicates, we are all going to stand before a judgment seat at the end of time, however and whenever that occurs. And if the wages of our sin is truly death (Romans 6:23), then it’s “right and just” that we should all be wiped out in judgment, just like those bad guys. But thanks be to God! His love and mercy is beyond our comprehension. God chose to pay the price for our sins through the death of Christ on the cross. If we humble ourselves and receive Christ, he becomes the payment for us. Justice is served upon him and not on us. Wow. Who does that? What an incredible God we serve.

Let’s spend time today simply giving thanks to God for loving us that much!
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