Yesterday, the jury in the Dylan Roof trial came back and recommended that he receive the death penalty. I’m not going to discuss the merits of the death penalty in this or any other case, because I’m not sure how I really feel about it. I have had several friends say that justice is being done because Roof deserves the death penalty.
We often think about what we or somebody else deserves. We focus on what we think is fair. We often think we don’t get what we deserve, we don’t get what is fair. Do you know what? We are right! We don’t get what we deserve. We should be very thankful for that.
Scripture tells us that all of humanity is sinful, that we live in a broken world. Romans 3:23 reminds us “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” No matter how hard we try, we all sin, we all fall short of God’s glory. That sin separates us from God and creates a divide that we cannot cross, no matter how much we try.
So what does this have to do with what we deserve? Romans 6:23 tells us that “the wages of sin is death.” This is referring to eternal death, separation from God. Sin creates a gap between God and we can never bridge it. That is what we deserve. Luckily, we don’t get what we deserve. Luckily for us, Jesus Christ saves us from the wages of sin. This isn’t done because we deserve it, but out of God’s love and grace.
So, no, we don’t get what we deserve and we should thank God for it!
1 John 4:9-10 “God’s love was revealed among us in this way: God sent his only Son into the world so that we might live through him. In this is love, not that we loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the atoning sacrifice for our sins.”