God's word in today's world

Getting what you deserve


One day I watched a movie about a man who had been sentenced to death. Death by electric chair. Getting what he deserved, because this man was a murderer. I wondered how you would feel if you had taken another person’s life? What goes through your mind when you see that person’s life leaving their body, leaving a dead, lifeless body behind? I wonder if that image runs through the murderer’s mind again and again? I wonder if he can sleep at all?

Death by electric chair was discussed for a long time, but eventually it was decided to go ahead – the murderer will get his own medicine. The death penalty – and indeed by electric chair. You who are watching the movie feel satisfied, because he is getting what he deserves, but still, we do care, and we feel sorry for the family that he is leaving behind. I even feel sorry for the murderer.

Everybody is silent as the murderer gets his last five minutes to shower. When a spot at the back of his head is shaved, the spot where the plate with all the wires will be attached, you only hear the faint screech of the shaver. As he shifts onto the chair, you become aware of your own breathing. You really want things to go quicker. Let’s just get it done.

The murderer stares straight ahead. Now he is all alone in the room. Just him and the chair. But then there is a scuffle at the door and a man with a young boy storms into the room. You can’t hear anything, but the man gestures to the man in the chair and then to his son. The warden’s face is one of utter surprise.

The viewer watches in disbelief at the scene in front of his eyes. The wires are unstrapped from the murderer one by one. Slowly he gets up from the chair. The man cannot believe what he is seeing as the wires are fixed to the beautiful boy’s body one by one…

That is exactly what Jesus did for us. We deserve death. The punishment for our sin is death. That’s it. When you sin against God, when your actions write off God, you must be written off too. You get what you deserve. But God cannot stand letting people die on the chair one by one. No, He takes his beautiful young Son and puts Him on the chair in our place. While we deserve death, we receive life: 6He took our sin-dead lives and made us alive in Christ. He did all this on his own, with no help from us! Then he picked us up and set us down in highest heaven in company with Jesus, our Messiah.

Our punishment of death is turned into life. Yes, Jesus was killed in our place so that we do not have to be killed for our sin. We no longer get what we deserve, because Jesus bore the punishment for our sin.

What an unbelievable story!

And God’s grace does not end there. Jesus not only dies in our place, no, He also earns a special place in heaven for us. Sort of as if we know someone at the rugby stadium and get a special ticket in the box for every game. Because we know Jesus, because He died for us, we get a special place in heaven.

God must love us so very much. He does so much for us. Now is the time to live as people who have received grace. Who have not only received life, but also a special place in heaven. Let’s live with the expectation that one day we will have a special place in heaven. Let’s live with the intention to share the grace that we have received from God with the people around us. They deserve it as little as we do.

Scripture

Ephesians 2:1-10

Reflection

Do you realise that Jesus died in your place?

Do you realise that a special place in heaven is waiting for you?

How does your life show that today?

Prayer

Father, what can one say? How big is your love for me! To put your Son in the electric chair in my place. Thank you, Father. Thank you for so much grace. I want to share your grace with the people around me. I have to! Amen

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