I am startled when I first notice the parallel tracks upon which both the righteousness of God and the love of God run.
To consider that God’s love pursues me as hard as his holiness pursues justice.
That his mercy is as great as his judgment.
I am baffled if at first I read of the wrath of God throughout the Old Testament. Sitting in the comfort of a warless country, I am somewhat appalled at the violence and bloodshed both directed and suffered by God’s people. That God would allow it to go on, and more, to continue, is quite shocking to those first considering the supreme god of the bible.
Man falls, God kicks them out, one child murders another, the flood drowns all but 8 people, all Egyptian first born are killed, an entire army is drowned, a short-sighted and rebellious rabble is consumed by the earth, nations are conquered, men women and children and cattle are slaughtered, God’s people are taken captive, the prophets go silent and all seems completely brutal and utterly barbaric…unless the red thread is discovered.
Running from Adam’s fall to Jesus birth is the structural thread that gives interpretation to all that otherwise appears both tragic and random.
he wrath of God that would have wiped the earth completely bare of all men wove a provision into every divine interaction so that the judgement that should come upon all sin was postponed over and over. And so, Adam was not killed, but separated from God’s holiness. Cain was not killed, but separated from his family. Noah found grace, Abraham was called out, Joseph protected, Moses delivered, God gave a tabernacle, Joshua entered, David rejoiced, Isaiah prophesied, “and unto us a child is born. Unto us a son is given…”
Calvary is not just a picture of the love of God, it is a picture, also, of the wrath of God. Don’t mistake your position for one that escaped the wrath of God. There was a price to pay and it was paid. It just wasn’t you who paid it.