Justice and Mercy
The sinful condition of mankind presents us with a dilemma: How can a holy, righteous God forgive us? If He acts justly, every human being would suffer the eternal punishment of His wrath, which their sins deserve. But if He extends mercy instead, no one would pay the penalty, and God would cease to be just.
There was only one way the Lord could stay true to His nature and still forgive our sins. The solution was to pour out His wrath on a substitute. That way, the penalty for sin would be paid, and He could extend mercy to sinners—which accommodates both aspects of His divine nature. Thus, Christ came as our substitute: He took the punishment for our sin, enabling us to receive the Father’s mercy. Now, by placing faith in Jesus, anyone can be justified—that is, declared righteous. This is the greatest display of the Lord’s love for us.
Can you imagine the cost of your salvation? The Father’s plan and His Son’s willing cooperation prove your tremendous value in God’s eyes. From the Lord’s perspective, you are worth all the pain and suffering that was necessary to secure your eternal presence with Him in heaven.