Hard Questions or Bad Arguments? Part 3

Continuing to look at J.H. McKenna’s post in this series, which begins here, we look at this argument,

  • It slanders God to say God could think of no other way to satisfy his irritated sense of justice than to execute his own son. Any human father would be hanged for such a scheme.

Notice how the presentation of the argument denigrates the justice of God. It is not that God’s justice was “irritated”, as if it is simply a mosquito bite. It also denigrates the self-giving of Jesus in the place of sinners who are rightfully condemned for their sin. It wasn’t that God couldn’t think of another way, it was that there was no other way. How is one to satiate the demand for justice of an eternal being? Not just for one sin, but for all the sins that a person might commit in his/her life? There is no other way than for an eternal being to step in and take the punishment. He who was God himself, stepped into history, as a man and lived a life that was honoring to God and took the place of one man, a man rightfully condemned, taking that man’s rightfully deserved punishment though he had been declared himself as, “innocent.” God didn’t “execute” his own Son, as Isaiah 53 says,

[He] was pierced for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities;
upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his wounds we are healed. (Isaiah 53:5, ESV).

Here’s the thing: God didn’t do that. We did it in our rebellion and hatred of our Creator. We assented to his death because we hate God. We took a rebel and killed a righteous man. But there’s something else: what we thought was our victory blow was an infliction upon ourself, and the one that we afflicted wants to give us life, not because we deserve it but because he is kind and generous, and wants to return us to a place where we can have a right relationship and be free from our sin. All that we have to do is trust him and live in light of it.

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