“It’s not fair!”–the usual thing to say when we feel like we’ve gotten some bad thing that we didn’t deserve. Maybe it’s something about the way you look, maybe you didn’t make the football team, maybe you embarrassed yourself in front of your friends…the list of possible grievances go on and on. The thing is, what do we deserve and what don’t we deserve? Surely, there has to be a line somewhere! Well, there is, and I find that Romans 6:23 (NIV) shows this perfectly:
For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Sin. Sound familiar? We have all sinned. And sin includes everything from murder to that little white lie you told your mom yesterday. At this point in this line of thought, I begin to get a little scared, and also a little more in awe of God. “For the wages of sin is death…” It’s kind of a terrifying thought, isn’t it? You may be thinking, “But I didn’t murder anyone! I don’t deserve those ‘wages’!” The thing is, we did. We all did. And this is why:
God is perfect. God is holy. God is loving. God is so many things, but what I want to focus on here is this: God is just. Deuteronomy 32:4 says this:
He is the Rock, His works are perfect, and all His ways are just. A faithful God who does no wrong, upright and just is He.
“…His works are perfect, and all His ways are just.” Perfect. Just. “A faithful God who does no wrong, upright and just is He.” It’s a little difficult to imagine someone who “does no wrong”. That means no sinning. Ever. And only the person who was like that was worthy of eternal life. But the thing is, nobody except God is like that! The verse goes on to say that he is upright and just. Just means giving us what we deserve, and according to Romans 6:23, we deserve death. So what happened?
John 3:16 tells us that God sent His only Son to earth because He loved us. He did this so we wouldn’t die, but so we could have eternal life with Him! We deserved death, but because of what Jesus did for us on the cross, our debt has been paid! Proverbs 10:16 says:
The wages of the righteous is life, but the earnings of the wicked are sin and death.
When we accept Jesus Christ as our Savior, our wages become life! Even though we didn’t deserve it.
You see, we deserved death. If God hadn’t sent His Son to save us, that would have been fair. But God gave us what we didn’t deserve! He gave us life! We received what we didn’t deserve, and by accepting Jesus as our Lord and King we can spend eternity with Him! As the second part of Romans 6:23 says, eternal life was a gift from God, not something we already had or could ever earn.
So next time you feel like you got something you didn’t deserve (something bad, in this case), think of what you did deserve. Think of how blessed you are that God loved us enough to send His Son to the cross for us sinners. We are blessed!