“There is always a cost to forgiveness; whether it is financial, physical, emotional or mental. Think of two people in conflict. If there is to be forgiveness, then one person has to admit defeat or back down and swallow their pride. Either way, someone pays. It is the same with the forgiveness that man receives from God. God paid the price by giving his Son to die. Jesus paid the price for our forgiveness by giving his life on the Cross. Why could not God, who is all-loving, just say, “I forgive you?” It is because it would not be true to his nature and character to do so. Let me explain.
God is holy and God is just. His holiness is such that God cannot entertain or look upon sin. We are kept from God’s presence because of our sinful nature. But because he is just he cannot let sin go unpunished. Because of his holiness God cannot be indifferent to sin. Sin is repugnant to his nature and character and all sin is against God. We dislike hearing of or acknowledging God’s wrath, but his wrath against sin is not an impetuous or sudden uncontrolled outburst of anger. God’s wrath is derived from his justice. His justice has to be satisfied and as man is incapable of paying the price to satisfy that justice, God himself, out of his incredible love, stepped in and provided the solution. He is the judge who is forced to mete out the judgment, but also the judge who steps down from the bench to personally pay the penalty as well.
Christ took the punishment for our sin on the Cross. This is the heart of the Gospel. No longer do we need to be living under the sentence of death. No longer do we need to have a broken relationship with God. By availing ourselves of this gift from God we begin a new relationship with him and a new life in Christ.”
Taken from my new book Real Faith, to be published late summer.