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The Punishment We Deserve

John 3:16 Yes, God loved the world so much that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him would not be lost but have eternal life.

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The Punishment We Deserve


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Here’s a sobering thought. If our parents had punished us each and every time we deserved it growing up, I’m not sure that we would have made it into adulthood. And if the law had punished us each time we drove that little bit over the speed limit, or whatever, we’d be flat broke by now. Because inherently, as human beings, young or old, we find it pretty much impossible to stick to the rules. Am I right?

So if God had punished us for each transgression; each rejection of His authority; each spurning of His love; each rudeness and impertinence and rebellion … seriously, we’d be dead by now. Literally.

But instead … instead He decided to punish His Son, Jesus, on our behalf. So much does He love you, so much does He love me … that Jesus was beaten, brutalised, mocked and nailed to a tree for you and for me.

Yes, God loved the world so much that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him would not be lost but have eternal life. (John 3:16)

We use words like grace and mercy with gay abandon. They roll off the tongue so easily. But Easter … Easter reminds us that there’s nothing cheap about mercy. There’s nothing easy about grace.

It’s a terrible thing when we take God’s mercy and grace for granted. When, without thinking about it, we opt for “cheap grace”.

But listen to me, please. What you and I really deserve, for our rejection of God, over and over again, is death. That’s very clearly what God’s Word says. You can’t mistake it. You can’t water it down.

The eighteenth century evangelist Jonathan Edwards once preached a sermon called “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God.” It’s still out there, word for word, on the internet. Google it: “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God”. Everyone should read it, because it speaks of the terrible reality of the judgement that awaits the sinner.

And yet that terrible judgement fell on Jesus, as He was nailed to that Cross. Why? Because …

God loved the world so much that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him would not be lost but have eternal life.

There’s nothing cheap about mercy. There’s nothing easy about grace.

That’s God’s Word. Fresh … for you … today.


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Paul Amerson

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