Justice and Mercy
Which is better?
Apparently if you think you’re in the right, or if you’ve been a victim, you might be expected to prefer justice, but if you are aware of having done wrong and maybe needing mercy then that seems more important. I read that somewhere long ago and can’t recall where.
This morning I watched a BBC programme about forgiveness which was very interesting. A rabbi being interviewed said that justice without mercy was not safe, too harsh I suppose, and that mercy without justice was not safe either as there was nothing stopping the person you forgive from harming you again. Both are needed.
In our Good Friday sermon today, our pastor asked why God didn’t just forgive Adam. Why did Jesus have to come and make the ultimate sacrifice so we can be forgiven? What was stopping Him from forgiving Adam and Eve?
I don’t recall them apologising much actually, just making excises and passing the buck. I wonder if He might have forgiven them had they repented?
But the pastor said it was because of justice. There had to be a repercussion for sin. And since there is justice, someone had to pay the price for our sin, or we would never be good enough to come near to God. Jesus was the only one who could do that.
I suppose if God just forgave us without us knowing there was a price to be paid, we might think it was OK to sin and just say sorry, won’t do it again, and then go right back to it. You know, the way you maybe apologised under duress as a kid when you had a fight with your sibling 🙂 Everyone knew you didn’t mean it!
Does being aware of the price, knowing it was paid for me by One who loves me enough to pay even such a terrible price, make me any less sinful? Maybe not, but hopefully it at least makes me aware of wanting to change.