Writings and Photography by Cody Haar

That Could Have Been The End of the Story …

In sharing about God’s justice, I made a statement that many Christians share a hesitancy in talking about how God expresses justice.  Following the service a friend came to me and said, “God isn’t timid about it; we shouldn’t be either.” My friend is absolutely correct.  God’s justice is expressed throughout Scripture, literally from beginning to end. The world has every reason to be fearful of this all-consuming justice, and yet this justice is the very thing that leads us to the cross.

In a word, we can define justice as “Jesus.” God the Father has appointed him to be judge of all the earth (John 5).  This King descended from his throne in heaven and took the seat of Judge in the courtroom. Hearing and seeing the evidence he pronounced me guilty and sentenced me to death and eternal separation from the One who breathed life into me.  

That could have been the end of the story.

This King and Judge descended again from his rightful seat of authority.  He walked up to me, face and face, and then pushed me aside to take my place on the cross.  All the things I did, all the guilty verdicts, all the times I was an enemy of God became his cross to bear.  Not only that, I was there to nail his hands and feet to the cross, my cross. Justice was served, and the wrong criminal took the fall.  He died on that cross for me.  

That could have been the end of the story. 

How is that fair?  Why should my King die in my place?  Who am I that God would be mindful of me?  What is a criminal worth to the Lord of all creation?  Apparently everything. That’s not fair. Sometimes I still hang on to my “stuff.”  Sometimes I try to take ownership of everything he took. I try to make things “fair” in my eyes.  Don’t you?  

The story continues.

This King and Judge and Sacrifice rebuilt the temple in three days.  He is taking back everything that is his. His Kingdom is expanding and he is asking us to join him in his good work.  The world needs to hear this message about justice, his justice. This message is that yes, you are guilty, and yes, this King and Judge took the punishment so that we might have new life.  

This message of justice changes everything.  All the revenge that we think we are entitled to take, we hand back to the King, for it is his to take.  All chains that were rightfully ours are now broken as we walk in the freedom that comes in and from Christ.  We praise our Father for the hope that is now ours. We are the evidence that God changes everything.  

For I am not ashamed of this Good News about Christ. It is the power of God at work, saving everyone who believes—the Jew first and also the Gentile.  This Good News tells us how God makes us right in his sight. This is accomplished from start to finish by faith. As the Scriptures say, “It is through faith that a righteous person has life.”  (Romans 1:16‭-‬17 NLT)


This is a reflection on a message I shared at Cornerstone Church on October 13, 2019.

Video: https://youtu.be/hA1_e7hnbHc

Podcast: The Real God // The Justice of God

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