The LORD is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love. . . . He does not treat us as our sins deserve or repay us according to our iniquities.
As the story goes, a king was in the process of taking over the throne. As part of taking over, he made a list of all his friends and his enemies. He placed a mark in front of the name of everyone who had tried to keep him from becoming king. When those whose names were marked heard about the list, they were terrified. They were convinced that their days on this earth were numbered because the king would certainly take revenge and do so soon.
Then they learned that the mark before each of their names was a cross. It was put there by the king to remind him of the love that Christ had shown to him and the love he needed to show to others—especially his enemies.
The king had taken to heart the truth expressed in Psalm 103:10. “The LORD does not treat us as our sins deserve or repay us according to our iniquities.”
God does not seek revenge. His goal is not to get even with us for breaking his commandments. He doesn’t treat us as we deserve. Instead of getting even and making us pay for our sins, God punished Jesus, his Son. In effect, God placed a cross by each of our names. The cross assures us that he loves us! Through the cross, God proclaims, “You don’t have to be afraid! I’ve forgiven you!”
Dear Lord, I join the psalmist in praising you for not treating me as I deserve. In your love and compassion, you have forgiven my sins. Thank you for taking my sins to the cross! Thank you, Jesus, for dying for them! In your name, dear Lord, I pray. Amen.
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