God is holy, righteous, and just. Each of those terms spells out a different response to sin.
Because God is holy, He hates sin. For example:
“Do not plot evil in your hearts against your neighbor, and do not love perjury, for I hate all this”—this is the LORD’s declaration (Zech 8:17).
Because God is righteous, He rejects sin. For example:
Your eyes are too pure to look on evil, and you cannot tolerate wrongdoing (Hab 1:13a).
And because God is just, He will judge sin. For example:
“I will punish the world for its evil, and wicked people for their iniquities. I will put an end to the pride of the arrogant and humiliate the insolence of tyrants” (Isa 13:11).
Those are three solid reasons for God to condemn mankind. God couldn’t simply let sin go. He had to deal with it. And frankly, isn’t that bad news for us? It tells us why mankind is in deep trouble but gives no hope of escaping it. So, where’s the hope?
The hope is in God’s fourth response to sin.
God is not only holy, righteous, and just, but He’s also loving, merciful, and forgiving. So, God sent Jesus to save His people from their sins (cf. Matt 1:21; John 1:29). How did He do that?
Jesus drank the cup of God’s wrath:
And he said, “Abba, Father! All things are possible for you. Take this cup away from me. Nevertheless, not what I will, but what you will” (Mark 14:36; cf. Jer 25:15; Rev 14:10; Isa 51:17, etc.).
Jesus also became a curse for you:
Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us, because it is written, Cursed is everyone who is hung on a tree (Gal 3:13).
And Jesus took the punishment due to your sin:
But he was pierced because of our rebellion, crushed because of our iniquities; punishment for our peace was on him, and we are healed by his wounds (Isa 53:5).
In sum, God’s three responses to sin were answered—and fully satisfied—by His fourth response in Christ.
Thought for the day: God and man should have the same response to sin: Jesus.