Justice says that when we sin, we owe God value that we can’t repay. However, we have to find a way to repay it or God is violating justice. First, let’s figure out how God got this value. Then we will look at how we access this value.
Justice is at the heart of Christ’s death and resurrection. In order for God to provide us value to cover our sins, God had to get this value justly. God couldn’t give it just because He wanted to or create it out of nothing…that would be unjust. How did God justly acquire the infinite value He would need to pave our way to Heaven?
Jesus gave value and never did anything worthy of punishment. In fact, his life was ended without just cause. There is no telling how much value Christ would have given because we don’t know how long he would have lived. Since he is “the life”, he could have lived forever. He would still be alive today if he hadn’t been killed unjustly.
He was owed life and because it was ended without just cause, much like dividing a number by zero, Justice said he was owed infinite value. If Christ had sinned, the value he was owed would have been finite. It may have only been the difference between the good he did and his sin.
God obtained this infinite value by using Justice. Justice is the source of Jesus’ power over death and his ability to give us that value.
This value had to be infinite. God could not create just enough value to pay for everyone because God doesn’t know how much each of us needs until we’ve made choices. Remember, we have free will. We determine how much or little we are going to deviate from God’s holy plan for our lives. God knows how much we need after we make our choices but because God is omnipresent He sees everyone's current moment at once.
God doesn’t know which people are going to need the value until after they have expressed their will to focus on the spiritual over the physical. Therefore, God could not justly identify that exact amount ahead of time. Also, God had to generate enough value to cover everyone who has lived or will ever live. God had to generate infinite value.
Remember, Jesus is God in that he is the embodiment of Righteous and Just. However, Jesus was also a man in that he had a free will. He could have chosen to do anything. Instead, he chose to do everything according to Righteous and Just. That is what makes him perfect. Once Jesus obtained this value, he freely gave it to God the Creator.
Jesus gave that value to God and God has given everyone access to this value. It is a gift. However, we have to choose to take this value; we have to express our will. It would be unjust of God to credit this value to people who don’t want it…God would be violating their free will.
Remember, the popular definition of grace (“unmerited favor”) says there was unlimited value given to people God chose and the people didn’t have to do anything to get it.
Withholding this value from people who wanted it would be unjust. Giving them a value without requiring a value in return would also violate Justice. So what must we do to receive this gift?
In the next post, we will see how this value is obtained through the process of confession and repentance.