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September 28 – Justice and mercy

“God made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God.” – 2 Corinthians 5:21

Scripture reading: 2 Corinthians 5:18-21

The Lord relented from the disaster He had planned for Nineveh. It is not that He ignored justice. God cannot violate His justice. There would still be a day when justice would be served. But at the same time when justice was served, mercy would be given.

Justice and mercy meet at the cross. Justice was served by God’s own Son. He paid the full punishment. Instead of punishing sinful, selfish humans, the Father put his righteous anger on his Son, and His Son was willing and able to pay for our sins. He became sin on our behalf, so that we might become “the righteousness of God.”

As commentator Jacques Ellul describes, “The just and perfectly holy God condemns, and can do no other, but when a man repents…God suffers for having condemned him. He takes upon himself the evil which was the wages of man’s sin.”

The Ninevites were wicked. But we are not better than them. Jonah had to learn that. The same grace that saved the Ninevites is the same grace that saved Jonah and saves us when we put our faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. Have you put your trust in Him? Put your faith and hope in Christ!

Suggestions for prayer

Thank God for His offer of salvation through Christ.

Pastor Jeremy Veldman is the co-pastor at Rehoboth United Reformed Church in Hamilton, Ontario, serving as Minister of Congregational Life. Get this devotional delivered directly to your phone each day via our RP App. It is also available in print, for purchase, at

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