God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him (John 3:16-17).
In a hospital room, I faced a father whose son’s life hung in the balance due to a freak accident. Through his tears, this father confided, “I know what is going on. God is punishing my son for my sin.”
I was shocked. Standing before me was a wonderful man of faith, who, during a moment of hardship could only think of God as an ogre in the sky, demanding a pound of flesh for some past error.
I had no idea how to answer, but somehow the Holy Spirit supplied words: “God is not putting the penalty of your sin on your son, because he has already put the penalty of your sin on his Son.”
I still wonder how the Spirit planted those words in the panic of my thought, but they have since helped me in times of my own hardship. When I am tempted to think God is getting back at me for my sins, I remember that he completely poured out his wrath on his Son so that I would have his mercy.
God is good all the time because his Son took all the punishment we deserve. When you believe that, God has promised your salvation not your condemnation.
Lord, thank you for allowing your only Son to pay the penalty for my sin. When I’m tempted to doubt your care, remind me you gave Jesus for me so that my sins will not ever condemn me or my loved ones.