The Amazing Grace of an Unjust God

God causes the sun to rise on the just and the unjust.

“Do not say that God is just…David may call him just and fair, but God’s own Son has revealed to us that he is before all things good and kind.  He is kind to the ungrateful and the wicked (Luke 6:34).  How can you call God just when you read the parable of the labourers in the vineyard and their wages?  ‘Friend, I am doing you no wrong…I choose to give to this last as I give to you…do you begrudge my generosity?’ (Matthew 20:13).  Likewise how can you call God just when you read the parable of the prodigal son who squanders his father’s wealth in riotous living, and the moment he displays some nostalgia his father runs to him, throws his arms around his neck and gives him complete power over all his riches?  It is not someone else who has told us this about God, so that we might have doubts.  It is his own Son himself.   He bore this witness to God.  Where is God’s justice?  Here, in the fact that we were sinners and Christ died for us…

 

The injustice of God’s love.

O the wonder of the grace of our Creator!  O the unfathomable goodness with which he has invested the existence of us sinners in order to create it afresh!…Anyone who has offended and blasphemed him he raises us again…Sin is to fail to understand the grace of the resurrection.  Where is the hell that could afflict us?  Where is the damnation that could make us afraid to the extent of overwhelming the joy of God’s love?  What is hell, face to face with the grace of the resurrection when he will rescue us from damnation, enable this corruptible body to put on incorruption and raise up fallen humanity from hell to glory?…Who will appreciate the wonder of our Creator’s grace as it deserves?…In place of what sinners justly deserve, he gives them resurrection.  In place of the bodies that have profaned his law, he clothes them anew in glory…See, Lord, I can no longer keep silent before the ocean of thy grace.  I no longer have any idea how to express the gratitude that I owe thee…Glory be to thee in both the worlds that thou hast created for our growth and delight, guiding us by the path of thy majestic works to the knowledge of thy glory!”

(St. Isaac of Ninevah  quoted in Olivier Clément’s  The Roots of Christian Mysticism, pgs 306-307)