Looking through the Cross – Evil
Mercy goes beyond justice, it does not undercut it. If I forgive you the hundred dollar debt you owe me, that means I must use one hundred dollars of my own money to pay my creditors. I cannot really make you a hundred dollars richer without making myself a hundred dollars poorer. If the debt is objectively real, it must be paid, and if it is my mercy that repays your debt, I must pay it. That is the reason why Christ had to die, why God could not simply say ‘forget it’. Instead he said ‘forgive it’ and that meant that if we did not pay it, he had to himself.
(Peter Kreeft, quoted in Looking through the Cross, by Graham Tomlin, p53)
God is not inflicting pain or punishment on an innocent third party, but bears the abandonment within himself… which is why language of 'God punishing Jesus for our sins' can mislead, if it is taken to mean God was outside, untouched by the whole exercise, inflicting pain and punishment on his distinct and innocent Son, Jesus.
(Graham Tomlin, Looking through the Cross, p51)
Since the children have flesh and blood, he too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might break the power of him who holds the power of death – that is, the devil – and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death.
Thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
1 Corinthians 15:57
[The cross] teaches us that first and foremost we are dealing with a God full of burning, passionate, relentless love for his creation – a love that will not let us go. Ultimately evil is overcome not by violence but by love – in fact that is the only force in the universe strong enough to defeat evil – it was true then and it is true now.
(Graham Tomlin, Looking through the Cross, p56)