When the Punishment Doesn’t Fit the Crime

No more let sins and sorrows grow
nor thorns infest the ground;
he comes to make his blessings flow
far as the curse is found,
far as the curse is found,
far as, far as the curse is found.

Joy to the World, verse 3

Have you ever been punished for something you did not do? As a kid, I had a couple of incidents in which I had gotten in trouble for things my siblings said or did. It was frustrating because I genuinely strived to be obedient because I hated getting into trouble. (Where are my enneagram 9’s?!)

I remember this one time, in particular, I got punished for something my brother did. The punishment was being grounded for a week. On Day 3 of my grounding, my mom called me to the kitchen table to let me know that my brother had confessed that he was the one who had broken my mom’s favorite vase. My 10-year-old self was so excited that I had been vindicated that I literally ran into my front yard and did a somersault!

 As a parent now, it can be so hard to discern “who is to blame” when the kids bring up an argument with me. I admit that I have done a one size fits all punishment where everyone gets into trouble and has to take a time out. It was a means to make sure the one who was to blame received punishment. In both childhood and parenting, I have experienced flawed justice through the giving and receiving of punishment. I’m sure you all can relate.

When I think about these moments of injustice now, I can’t help but think of Jesus. Jesus took on the penalty of sin and death for us willingly out of His love for us. The depths of His love for us are unfathomable. Jesus was sinless (1 Peter 2:22), the lamb without blemish (1 Peter 1:19), the perfect sacrifice. God saw our sin problem, with great compassion, mercy, and grace sent His Son Jesus to be the propitiation of our sin. (1 John 2:22

We didn’t deserve such great kindness. We deserve death. (Romans 6:23) What joy fills my heart over Jesus’ sacrifice! To know-how deeply loved I am. That Jesus would take on my sin so I could have everlasting life in an intimate relationship with Him. (John 3:16) This is so overwhelming that I weep with joy over this truth. He is the greatest love we will ever know.

Scripture Reference

 Romans 5:12-21

Action Step

Take some time to write out a prayer of thanks to God for the beautiful gift we have been given.

Accompanying Playlist

All hymns referenced throughout the series found in one spot. Some versions are traditional. Others…not so much. Enjoy!

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