Michael Jeshurun

“By mercy and truth iniquity is purged: and by the fear of the Lord men depart from evil.” [Prov 16:6]

There are instances where sin and iniquity is ‘pardoned’ in a human court, but it is never ‘purged’. How so?

“There is nothing in the pardon of a human government to sustain the majesty of law, and to meet the claims of equity. No attempt is made to harmonize the claims of righteousness with the pleadings of mercy; to reconcile the act of pardon with the demands of holiness. No atonement is made, no satisfaction is offered, no penalty is executed; the law is dishonored, justice is outraged, and the government from where the act emanates is weakened, and its authority lowered in the eyes of the nation; in a word, the criminal is pardoned, and the crime is condoned!

Contrast this with the Divine pardon of sin. God rests His plan of forgiveness upon a basis which magnifies the law, whose violation He pardons; which executes the sentence, while He remits the penalty; which strengthens the government and lends luster to its administration, while He spares the sinner who has ignored its authority and rebelled against its commands.

God thus takes the matter of ‘satisfaction of justice’ in His own hands- assumes the responsibility, arranges the preliminaries, and bears the entire cost of the plan- a cost which the infinite resources of Deity alone could meet. It will at once be seen that the great problem of His moral government which He engaged to solve -and He solved it- was the harmony of the respective claims of justice and mercy, of pardon and holiness, the dignity of the offended government with the forgiveness of the offender. To adjust these conflicting interests, and to harmonize their jarring attributes, was the great work in which Deity embarked- a work in all respects worthy of God.

And what human government pardons the criminal at so vast a cost and so great a sacrifice to Himself as God does? The process is facile and quick. It is but a word, a signature, and the criminal is pardoned, and his life is spared. But, at what a cost and by what a sacrifice does God pardon the guilt of sin and justify the person of the sinner! He “spared not His own Son, but gave Him up for us all.” “God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” How vast the cost! How immeasurable the sacrifice!” – Octavius Winslow

There may be ‘mercy’ shown to an offender in a human court, but it is always at the cost of the truth! But not so in God’s court!
Only in His court do “Mercy and truth meet together; and righteousness and peace kiss each other.” [Psalm 85:10]

God never shows mercy or grants pardon at the cost of truth.

“The righteous is delivered out of trouble, and the wicked cometh in his stead.” [Prov 11:8] This can be said of all of God’s elect. But the reverse had to take place before this could happen. i.e. the Righteous had to come in the stead of the wicked before the wicked could be delivered out of trouble. And THAT is what the incarnation is all about. “For He hath made Him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him.” [2Cor 5:21]

And so God can say concerning His child who rightfully deserves Hell, “Deliver him from going down to the pit: I have found a ransom!” [Job 33:24]

Praise the Lord!

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