Only the helpless have hope?
His holy character determines the extent of our helplessness before Him. His holy provision (His Son) determines the extent of our hope…and security.
Picture yourself standing before a judge. Let’s assume he is righteous, but not just. His offended righteousness determines the severity of the penalty of your crime. Since he is 100% righteous, he is very offended by your crime and the penalty is severe. If the fine is payable in money, it will be an exorbitant amount. Since he is not 100% just, you do not have to pay the fine in full. Therefore, even though the fine is too much for you to pay, the fact that his justice is not 100% gets you off the hook. He’ll settle for whatever you can pay.
Let’s assume he is just, but not righteous. Since his offended righteousness determines the severity of the penalty and he is not 100% righteous, the penalty is not severe. Basically, he is not very offended by your crime. If the fine is payable in money, it will be a very small amount. He is 100% just; therefore, you must pay the fine in full. Again, you are off the hook because this time the fine is not very stiff.
Either a stiff fine doesn’t have to be paid in full or a small fine does have to be paid in full. In either scenario, you were never in a helpless situation. You could pay your own debt to the satisfaction of the court. Now assume the judge is both righteous and just. He is 100% righteous; therefore, he is offended by your crime. The fine will be exorbitant. He is 100% just; therefore, the fine must be paid in full. The judge cannot settle for anything less. You are helpless to pay so great a fine. You have no hope in yourself to pay your debt to the satisfaction of the court.
Now assume the judge sees your predicament and says he loves you very much. He slams the gavel and pronounces you “guilty.” He then takes off his robe and steps down from the judge’s bench and stands beside you. He reaches into his own pocket and pulls out the exact amount you owe. You are dumbfounded: first of all, that he took off his robe and left his position of honor; secondly, that he stepped down from the bench to stand beside you. Now he is handing you his money. You know you don’t deserve it. You receive the judge’s gift. You cannot believe what this judge has done. You are staggered by his love for you. He goes back up to his bench, puts his robe back on and sits down in his proper seat. Then he tells you to hand the money to him and he will apply it to your debt. You are still stunned. You hand the money to him. He slams the gavel again and announces to the court your debt is now paid in full. You are free to go. You cannot take your eyes off of this judge. You cannot put your gratitude into words. You rejoice in the gift he has given to you. Then you notice that he is rejoicing too. He says, “I satisfied my justice because the debt was paid in full. I satisfied my love because I paid your debt for you!” You will never be the same again.
A person may think to himself, “Why is this judge so rigid? Why can’t he be more flexible?” His moral character is perfect. It does not waiver. His justice is perfect. It does not waiver. The more important point is this: If I am the one who realizes my debt was just paid in full, I am not asking these two questions. I am asking another question, “Why me? How can He love me this much?” The answer is found in who He is, not who we are. He loves us this much because His love is perfect. It does not waiver. There’s nothing in you or me that warrants this type of love. There’s nothing in you or me that can make Him stop loving us. His love is as perfect as His righteousness is perfect as His justice is perfect as His mercy is perfect….