From Spurgeon's sermon, "Justice Satisfied"
God is just.
And because God is just sin must be punished.
Ah, sinner, if God did not punish your sin,
he has ceased to be what he has always been--
the severely just, the inflexibly righteous God.
The justice of God is in itself a great barrier
to the salvation of sinners.
Let old Sodom tell you how God rained fire and
brimstone out of heaven upon man's iniquity.
Let a drowning world tell you how God lifted the sluices of the
fountains of the great deep, and bade the bubbling waters spring
up and swallow man alive.
Let the earth tell you; for she opened her mouth
when Korah, Dathan, and Abiram rebelled against God.
Let the buried cities of Nineveh, and the tattered relics of Tyre
and Sidon, tell you that God is just, and will by no means spare
And direst of all, let hell's bottomless lake declare what is
the awful vengeance of God against the sins of man.
Let the sighs, and groans, and moans, and shrieks of spirits
condemned of God, rise in your ears, and bear witness that he is
a God who will not spare the guilty, who will not wink at iniquity,
transgression, and sin, but who will have vengeance upon every
rebel, and will give justice its full satisfaction for every offence.
"Ah," says the sinner, "then I am shut out of heaven. If God is
just and he must punish sin, then what can I do? Justice, like
some dark angel, strides across the road of mercy, and with his
sword drawn, athirst for blood and winged to slay, he strides
across my path, and threatens to drive me backwards over the
precipice of death into the ever-burning lake!"
Go and take Justice with you to Gethsemane, and stand there
with it--see that man so oppressed with grief, that all his head,
his hair, his garments bloody be. Sin was a press--a vice which
forced his blood from every vein, and wrapped him in a sheet of
his own blood. Do you see that man there! can you hear his
groans, his cries, his earnest intercessions, his strong crying and
tears! can you mark that clotted sweat as it crimsons the frozen
soil, strong enough to unloose the curse! do you see him in the
desperate agony of his spirit, crushed, broken, bruised beneath
the feet of Justice in the olive press of God!
Justice, is not that enough? will not that content you? In a whole
hell there is not so much dignity of vengeance as there is in the
garden of Gethsemane. Are you not yet satisfied?
Come, Justice, to the hall of Pilate. See that man arraigned,
accused, charged with sedition and with blasphemy! See him
taken to the guard-room, spit upon, buffeted with hands,
crowned with thorns, robed in mockery, and insulted with a reed
for a scepter. I say, Justice, see that man, and do you know that
he is "God over all blessed forever?" and yet he endures all this
to satisfy your demands! Are you not content with that? Do you
Let me show you this man on the pavement. He is stripped.
Stand, Justice, and listen to those stripes, those bloody scourges,
and as they fall upon his devoted back and plough deep furrows
there, do you see thong-full after thong-full of his quivering flesh
torn from his poor bare back! Are you not content yet, Justice?
Then what will satisfy you? "Nothing," says Justice, "but his death."
Come with me, then you can see that feeble man hurried through
the streets! See him driven to the top of Calvary, hurled on his
back, nailed to the transverse wood? Oh, Justice, can you see
his dislocated bones, now that his cross is lifted up? Stand with
me, O Justice, see him as he weeps, and sighs, and cries; see his
soul-agonies! Can you read that tale of terror which is veiled in
that flesh and blood? Come, listen Justice, while you hear him
cry, "I thirst," and while you see the burning fever devouring him,
till he is dried up like a potsherd, and his tongue cleaves to the
roof of his mouth for thirst! And lastly, O Justice, do you see him
bow his head, and die? "Yes," says Justice, "and I am satisfied; I
have nothing that I can ask more; I am fully content; my
uttermost demands are more than satisfied."