David Platt in India
If you look – 14 times in the first 50 psalms alone, we see God’s wrath on the liar, his hatred toward sinners, holy hatred toward sinners. It’s not just Old Testament, in the New testament, you’re looking at chapter in John 3- contains the most favorite verse about God’s love. You keep going to the end of the chapter, you see the most neglected verse about God’s wrath. And this is where this is so important.
When we think about the cross, and we realize what has been done, Jesus did not just endure the penalty of sin. We have this tendency to think of sin as if it’s outside of us. Lying, cheatin, lusting, whatever might be; these are things outside of us that we do. Guess what? Sin is NOT outside us. It is at the CORE of who we are. And when Jesus went to the cross, He wasn’t dying for our lusting, cheating, whatever it might be- OUT HERE. He’s not dying for those things as if they’re outside of us. What He’s enduring on the cross is not just what’s due sin. What is due on the cross is what is due you and me, as sinners. This is holy wrath. Righteous anger poured out on sinners.
It’s the BEAUTY of the CROSS, that when JESUS WENT THERE, He wasn’t just standing in place of your sin, HE was STANDING in the PLACE that YOU and I DESERVED TO BE. So, let us be very careful, not to lean on comfortable cliches that rob the cross of its meaning. And, let us be careful not to acquiesce to what we think the culture most wants to hear, when the reality is we are robbing the Gospel of its power. Because the reality is, when Jesus went to the cross- Does God hate sinners? Look at the cross!!! Stricken, pierced, crushed (literally pulverized). That’s what you and I deserved.
Does God hate sinners? Yes, look at the cross. Does God love sinners? Yes, look at the cross. Because He does this for you and for me. So that, it can be said of your life and mine, from a Holy God, looking upon you and I, in our sinfulness, He could say. “You’re innocent.” That’s a scandal. No matter who you are- conservative, liberal, progressive, you have a sense of right and wrong and you expect right to be praised and wrong to be condemned. You expect a judge on someone who is guilty to give a guilty sentence. And we expect God to do the same. But, God looks down on you and me, and all of our guilt, and He says, “Innocent.” Only because of this scandalously merciful Savior.