“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the LORD.
Thinking Outside the Box
“You break it, you buy it.” It’s a pretty simple concept. If you’re foolish enough to pick up a valuable and fragile item in an antique store, you had better be ready to purchase it in case something happens. If you drop it on the floor and it shatters into a million pieces, “It was an accident,” probably isn’t going to satisfy the store owner. If you’re the one who broke it, then you’re the one who will pay for it.
If imperfect human beings like us abide by that simple motto of retail justice, then certainly we should expect our perfectly just God to expect the same, right?
It would make sense. When, for instance, our Creator-God handed his perfect and priceless world over to human beings, it would stand to reason that it came with a warning: if you break it, you’ll have to fix it or buy it. That’s just simple logic.
But that’s not the way our Savior-God operates. The prophet Isaiah tells us that he freely pardons sin, and then God tells us why: “‘For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,’ declares the Lord.” In other words, God doesn’t operate with a human standard of justice. No, our Savior thinks outside the box.
The psalmist wrote, “Our God is in heaven; he does whatever pleases him” (Psalm 115:3). And what pleases him? It pleases him to be merciful to sinners like you and me. He “wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth” (1 Timothy 2:4). What’s that truth? He desires mercy, not sacrifice (Matthew 9:13).
So when our creator God saw that we sinfully broke everything—his perfect creation and our perfect relationships with him and one another—he didn’t ask us to pony up ourselves. He paid the awful price himself. He sacrificed his greatest treasure, his Son, to make restitution for what we destroyed. By his death on the cross, Jesus paid for our shattering sins “once for all” (Hebrews 7:27). He declares sinners perfect!
That’s called thinking outside the box.
Dear Jesus, help me marvel in the fact that by your death and resurrection, you declare me what I am not: perfect. Amen.