God’s Justice in Christ

owen In the penalty inflicted on Christ for sin, God’s justice is far more gloriously revealed than in any other way. To see a world made good and beautiful, wrapped up in wrath and curses, clothed with thorns and briers, made subject to vanity and in bondage to corruption; to hear it groan in pain under that burden; to consider legions of angels, the most glorious and immortal of all creatures, cast down to hell, bound with chains of darkness and kept for a more dreadful judgement, and that for one sin; to see the oceans of blood spilt on account of sin will give some insight into God’s justice and righteousness. But what is all this to that which we see with the spiritual eye in the Lord Christ? All these examples are but worms and of no value compared to God’s justice seen in Christ.

To see Christ, the wisdom and power of God, always beloved of the Father, fear and tremble, bow and sweat, pray and die; to see him lifted up on the cross, the earth trembling beneath him as if unable to bear his weight; to see the heavens darkened over him as if shut against his cry and himself hanging between both as if refused by each; and to see that all this is because of our sins is to see clearly the holy justice and wrath of God against sin. Supremely in Christ do we learn this great truth that God hates sin and judges it with a dreadful and fearful judgement.”

John Owen, Communion with God, abridged by R.J.K. Law (Banner of Truth, 2008), 82-83.