Once Enemies

Once Enemies
by Joni Eareckson Tada
“Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God’s wrath remains on him.”  
John 3:36
When you think of God’s wrath, what comes to mind? When I was little, I saw a painting of Zeus, the Greek god who lived “up there,” surrounded by puffy clouds. He threw lightning bolts at people for the silliest reasons. I wondered if the God of the Bible was the same way. Was He the kind of God who would fly off the handle? Was He ill tempered, mean spirited, and — dare I say — flighty?
From today’s verse, you can see that the wrath of God is not an emotional outburst of anger. It is the punishment due for disobedience to God (Romans 1:18). God’s wrath is nothing like the anger of a mythical god or a vengeful human being. His wrath is sinless. It is His punitive justice and has nothing to do with expressions of cruelty. God is holy — that means He hates sin. God is just — that means He must punish sin. That should give us the shivers. We humans have no idea how offensive our sin is against a holy God.
This is why Jesus Christ’s sacrifice is so astounding. Knowing His wrath would incinerate us in a nanosecond, God came up with the incredible plan described in John 3:16-18, “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.”
The doctrine of the wrath of God offends many people — even Christians. Nowadays, the love of God is what most Christians concentrate on. But God’s love can never be appreciated until we see what we have been saved from!
Lord Jesus, I will never fully know or appreciate the fact that You absorbed God’s wrath so that I might know His peace. Thank You for such amazing love.
Joni and Friends
Taken from Pearls of Great Price
Copyright © 2006
By Joni Eareckson Tada
Published in Print by Zondervan, Grand Rapids
All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible: New International Version.
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