The view from the Cross
The fact that good things happen to bad people must fit into this bigger picture of the kind of sovereign power that the Father wields. So, the injustice of the world cannot be because the Father does not have the power or authority to change things. We must conclude that the Father desires a world where bad people receive good things and bad things can happen to a good person.
In Romans 3:23-26 the apostle Paul looks to the cross for the answer to this frightening problem. Everyone has sinned and therefore deserves only bad. However, our Righteous God decided to ‘overlook’ this and refrain from punishing our evil. Instead He decided to wait until He could punish the completely innocent Messiah, Jesus. This decision to allow evil to go unpunished and to punish the innocent Man was actually a demonstration of His justice!
If we are to understand the glory of the Father’s sovereign power then we need to understand His righteousness and justice. If we start our ‘justice’ and power thinking from the Crucified God only then will we see why He governs the world with such amazing generosity and wisdom.
Sometimes people think of the ways of the Living God only from the perspective of decisions made before the creation of the universe. It is a very tempting place to begin. We want to celebrate the glory and power of our Majestic God and by starting our thinking from such an elevated viewpoint it guards against becoming lost in the maze of human sin and responsibility. However, one possible danger is that the actual life, ministry, death and resurrection of Jesus is also swallowed up in the ocean of eternity. We must make sure that the Cross is not just one more heading under the ‘Sovereignty of God’. We mustn’t assume that we know how the Father uses His sovereign power until we are viewing everything from the highest point of all – the Cross of Jesus.
The Cross shows us how Divine sovereignty and human responsibility collide. Whereas the human wicked intention was to destroy the Author of Life, yet our Gracious Father’s intention was to freely save humanity… even the very people who nailed Jesus to the Cross.
Acts 2:22-24, 37-38 – “Men of Israel, listen to this: Jesus of Nazareth was a man accredited by God to you by miracles, wonders and signs, which God did among you through him, as you yourselves know. This man was handed over to you by God’s set purpose and foreknowledge; and you, with the help of wicked men, put him to death by nailing him to the cross. But God raised him from the dead, freeing him from the agony of death, because it was impossible for death to keep its hold on him… When the people heard this, they were cut to the heart and said to Peter and the other apostles, “Brothers, what shall we do?” Peter replied, “Repent and be baptised, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins.”
The sovereign power of God, them, did not over-rule the injustice of the Cross. Rather, precisely through the injustice of the Cross, another work of injustice was accomplished… the salvation of people who deserve only Hell.