This devotional first appeared in https://www.revivalandreformation.org
Were the law understood apart from Christ, it would have a crushing power upon sinful men, blotting the sinner out of existence. But by understanding the law in connection with Christ, receiving Him by faith as his substitute and surety, man sees himself as a prisoner of hope. The truth as it is in Jesus is an acquaintance with the holy, just, and good law of God, as this law is elevated, and its immutability demonstrated, in Christ. He magnified the law, expanded its every precept, and in His obedience left man an example, that he also may meet its demands….
The agonies of the garden of Gethsemane, the insult, the mockery, the abuse, heaped upon God’s dear Son, the horrors and ignominy of the Crucifixion, furnish sufficient and thrilling demonstrations that God’s justice, when it punishes, does the work thoroughly. The fact that His own Son, the surety for man, was not spared is an argument that will stand to all eternity before saint and sinner, before the universe of God, to testify that He will not excuse the transgressor of His law.
God is love. He has shown that love in the gift of His only begotten Son. Yet the love of God does not excuse sin. God does not excuse sin in Satan, in Adam, or in Cain, nor will He excuse sin in any of the children of men. The perverted nature of man may distort the love of God into an attribute of weakness; but light is shining from the cross of Calvary, that man may have correct views and hold theories that are not perverted.
God has given His law for the regulation of the conduct of nations, of families, and of individuals. There is not one worker of wickedness, though his sin is the least and the most secret, that escapes the denunciation of that law. The whole work of the father of lies is recorded in the statute books of heaven; and those who lend themselves to the service of Satan, to present to men his lies by precept and practice, will receive according to their deeds. Every offense against God, however minute, is set down in the reckoning. And when the sword of justice is taken in hand, it will do the work that was done to the Divine Sufferer. Justice will strike; for God’s hatred of sin is intense and overwhelming.
The truth as it is in Jesus will teach most important lessons. It will show that the love of God is broad and deep; that it is infinite; and that in awarding the penalty to the disobedient, those who have made void God’s law, it will be uncompromising. This is the love and justice of God combined. It reaches to the very depth of human woe and degradation, to lift up the fallen and oppressed who lay hold of the truth by repentance and faith in Jesus (The Review and Herald, February 8, 1898).