Meditation upon these awful truths must lead, however, to an ever-increasing understanding of the Love both of God the Father, who laid our sins upon His own Son; and of His Son who delighted to do the Father's will and set us free. This is not the legal but the personal side of Calvary, and reveals to us not simply the inflexible righteousness of God, but also His tender love for each one of His creatures. (John 3:16, Gal. 2:20, Rom. 5:8.)
These two great truths, (1) that the wages of sin is death, (2) that God has, out of His love, given His own Son to carry our sins in His own body on the tree, were in the mind of God before the Creation; and the revelation of them was given through the prophets of Israel.
Yet although they were plainly stated in the Old Testament, no one believed them or understood them till Jesus came. He believed, but He could not get even His Apostles to agree with Him till after His death and resurrection. They had no fear of punishment for sin; nor any desire that Jesus should die for their Sins. Indeed, they did what they could to prevent Him doing so. They were quarrelling about the positions they would hold in His Kingdom, when the King was realising that unless He died for them they would not he able even to enter that Kingdom. It was His post-resurrection ministry which explained to them the victory of Calvary. Before that they refused to consider or discuss His death and resurrection; after that, this was the centre of their message, as it has been the centre of the family life ever since. (Rom. 6:23, Rev. 11:18, I Peter 1:20, Is. 53:11, I Cor. 1:23, Lk. 24:25, 44, 45, 9:45.)
The world has always hated such truth; it seems to lay upon them an insupportable burden. Their thought is that free will carries with it liberty to do as they please; and not, as is the truth, liberty to keep the law of God. It has always been the dream of the world that in some way or other universal selfishness could lead to universal happiness; whereas the truth is that universal happiness is the fruit of universal obedience to the Law of Love.
They hated Jesus, therefore, who pointed out this truth, and laid upon man, not God, the responsibility for the world's prosperity. It is the work, however, of all the Sons of God to preach this simple but unwelcome truth, that the happiness of Heaven will depend upon man's obedience and not upon God's