HOUSMAIL HM#092 - IT WASN'T FAIR!                                                                                                 16 June 2002

By any recognised standard of human justice, the torture and crucifixion of Jesus was UNJUST, UNFAIR, and UNDESERVED! Wicked men suborned false witnesses to perjure themselves against Him. When that didn't work, they managed to manoeuvre Him into a position where failure to reply truthfully, would be a denial of His God and His Divine parentage. So He confessed THE TRUTH that He is indeed the Son of God -- and for that they convicted Him of Blasphemy, and put Him to death.

There was no law He had broken -- nothing at all in Him -- NOTHING AT ALL -- to warrant such a death. Although created exactly like other men, in EXACTLY the same sort of mortal flesh (Heb 2:14-17) -- and although subjected to all the same temptations (Heb 2:18; Heb 4:15) -- He OVERCAME, where all others failed! He was, all His life, HOLY, HARMLESS, UNDEFILED!! (Heb 7:26) -- The "beloved Son" in whom God is well pleased.(Matt 3:22)

And when men had done their worst, GOD declared His Son INNOCENT, on all counts, by raising Him from the dead! (Rom 1:4) How can we explain such delay on God's part? Why didn't God intervene BEFORE men had dealt with His Son in such wicked ways?

Whether we like it or not, -- whether we agree with it or not -- God needed it to happen that way -- for our salvation! The Scriptures say that this terrible injustice done to Jesus by wicked men -- this undeserved PENALTY for sins of which He was not guilty -- was a BLOOD SACRIFICE which has become a RANSOM paid by Jesus for our pardon from the guilt and the penalty of sins which we did commit! (Mark 10:44; 1 Tim 2:6; Gal 4:5; Titus 2:14)

Without that, we would have no pardon -- no hope of immortality -- no hope of an eternal inheritance!

* Jesus, Paul says, "died for the ungodly". In this "God has shown His love for us". Through this, if we are willing to accept our guilt and repent, we can find a way to forsake our enmity against God -- and be reconciled! (Rom 5:6-10)
* Peter says that Jesus has "suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God".
    (1 Pet 3:18)
* And John says "We love because He first loved us". (1 John 4:19)

Somehow, in this awful miscarriage of human justice, a RANSOM has been paid for our pardon! Ransom in this context means that the life of Jesus was given in exchange for ours! And although the Scripture does not use this word, it is inescapable that in some way, Jesus has made Himself a SUBSTITUTE for US!

How can it be FAIR -- How can it be JUST -- that God should require the death of an innocent man, in order to forgive us? In human terms, THAT isn't "FAIR" at all!

BUT neither was it FAIR that we committed the sins which made it necessary! And it wasn't "FAIR" at all that God should have to give His Son to save us from the penalty of OUR SINS! But God went the second mile about that! And He gave Jesus anyway!

It wasn't "FAIR" at all that Jesus should have to allow Himself to be condemned to death by wicked men, without a single word in His own defence, when he wasn't guilty of anything! But Jesus went the second mile about that, and gave Himself -- NOT for any need of His own -- but because we needed a Saviour -- to save us from the penalty justly due for our sins.

"Second Miles" are never "fair". That isn't how you measure them! They can't legally be required of you! If they were a "legal requirement" there would be nothing given!

Second Miles are something you CHOOSE to GIVE -- because you see a need which you choose to meet -- and you willingly PAY the PRICE of your voluntary choice.

God does have a standard of "fairness" for dealing with sinners. It is based on attitudes and actions!

For wilfully unrepentant, sinners:
"FAIR" is being punished and put to death on the day of Judgement!

For repentant pardoned sinners:
"FAIR" is being forgiven and NOT punished and NOT put to death on the day of Judgement.

"Yet your people say, 'The way of the Lord is not just'; when it is their own way that is not just. When the righteous turns from his righteousness, and commits iniquity, he shall die for it. And when the wicked turns from his wickedness, and does what is lawful and right, he shall live by it. Yet you say, 'The way of the Lord is not just.' O house of Israel, I will judge each of you according to his ways." (Ezek 33:16-20)

NO! -- To be forgiven, and pardoned, requires MORE than our repentance! It also requires the death of Jesus as a "Blood Sacrifice", in which He surrendered His life as a Ransom for sinners. Whether or not we understand all about exactly how that "works", and whether or not we "like" some of the implications of that, the overwhelming message of Scripture is that a human BLOOD SACRIFICE is also required. (Heb 9:22)

And just for good measure, we need to know that IGNORANCE is NOT a valid excuse for sin!

"The wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and wickedness of men who by their wickedness suppress the truth. For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. Ever since the creation of the world his invisible nature, namely, his eternal power and deity, has been clearly perceived in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse!" (Rom 1:18-20)

Under the OT laws of God, when a man who sinned in ignorance became aware of his sin, he had to make the same repentance and the same blood sacrifice as any other sinner! (Levit 3:27-35)

Paul says the same thing in Acts 17:30-31. When we become aware of our "sins of ignorance", we also become responsible for repenting of them, just like any other sin! The Gospel is designed to bring us to awareness of ALL sins, whether of ignorance or otherwise! It calls us to make an adequate repentance, which means admitting what we did was wrong, that the fault is ours alone, and that we need to change our ways. It requires us to accept the sacrifice made for us by Jesus.

Then -- and only then -- "Though I say to the wicked, 'You shall surely die,' yet if he turns from his sin and does what is lawful and right, if the wicked restores the pledge, gives back what he has taken by robbery, and walks in the statutes of life, committing no iniquity; he shall surely live, he shall not die. None of the sins that he has committed shall be remembered against him; he has done what is lawful and right, he shall surely live." (Ezekiel 33:14-16)

"The law of the LORD is perfect, reviving the soul; the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple; the precepts of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart; the commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes; .....by them is thy servant warned; in keeping them there is great reward.
But who can discern his errors? Clear thou me from hidden faults.
Keep back thy servant also from presumptuous sins; let them not have dominion over me!
Then I shall be blameless, and innocent of great transgression." (Psalm 19:7-13)

FAIR? If we ask it about Jesus, THAT is the wrong question! It is about US!!

What is FAIR is that WE admit our guilt, and our need for pardon, and in HUMILITY, gratefully accept the GIFT which has been offered -- far, far beyond the limits of all human concepts and standards of "fairness"! And what is also FAIR, is that we should choose of our own free will, to accept our need to give ourselves to love Jesus in return for what He has done, and obey His commandments! (John 14:15, 23)

That is FAITH in action. That is Grace in action!