Week beginning: 13th April, 2014

By Martin Ayers | Preston

God presented him as a sacrifice of atonement, through faith in his blood. He did this to demonstrate his justice, because in his forbearance he had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished – he did it to demonstrate his justice at the present time, so as to be just and the one who justifies those who have faith in Jesus.

Romans 3:25-26 NIV (1984)

Easter 3 – Easter and the Victory for Justice

One of my favourite modern hymns is "O Church Arise", but there's one line I would gladly change. Stuart Townend writes, "Come see the cross, where love and mercy meet as the Son of God is stricken."

Of course, at the cross we do see love and mercy meet. But I wonder if Romans 3 would be better represented in the song if we urged one another to come, see the cross, where love and justice meet.

Why was the cross necessary?
Because
i. God, in his love for the world, was determined to justify those who have faith in Jesus; but
ii. God is just, and his justice must be demonstrated.
Satan is the great accuser, who longs to challenge God that his people must bear the penalty due for the sin of taking God's place. At the cross, therefore, God defeats Satan by taking our place. He silences our accuser by bearing the due penalty for our sin. As Townend writes next, "Then see his foes lie crushed beneath his feet, for the conqueror has risen!"

What great motivation to act for justice in the legal profession. We follow a God whose heart beats for justice. You work in a profession that should seek justice, and yet where selfish ambition and greed can replace that ultimate aim with spin, deception and compromise. How will a Christian lawyer after God's own heart work differently?

So Spirit come, put strength in every stride,
Give grace for every hurdle,
That we may run with faith to win the prize,
Of a servant good and faithful.*

*Keith Getty & Stuart Townend

This is third of four word for the weeks done by Martin Ayers. Click here to see previous ones and click here to read the book review of Martin's book 'Keep the Faith' .