How many times have you said these words or heard them? I think it would be fair to say too many times to be able to count. Why do people say it? There are many different reasons. When we were children we might have thought our parents were being unfair to us when they disciplined us, taking away a toy or a privilege when we disobeyed them. Maybe it happened at school when we were caught talking to another student in the middle of a lesson and the teacher didn’t let us explain that we were only trying to help the other student. Maybe you got a negative mark and the other student didn’t. It could have been that best friend (well, at least you thought they were your best friend) that ditched you for another friend. Sometimes we say it inside when we come home from work and the kids have not bothered to even do the dishes after they finished eating and expect us to do everything and still be smiling and ready to give them all the attention they demand.
Other times we say it because of what we see on the news, the injustice and the unfairness in the world. The footballer getting paid millions to run after a ball (apologies here to the lovers of the sport) whilst entire villages are dying of hunger in many countries because there isn’t enough financial aid available to help everyone, or the money sent has been lost. Animal lives being protected at all cost and babies being killed by the millions (I must say, I am an animal lover, but human life is more valuable to me). Or maybe it is the diagnosis of a serious illness for a loved one and you wonder how in the world could that be fair. It should be you not them. Another reason could be the news a dear friend passed in a terrible accident and you think of so many people God could have chosen to take instead…
It is not fair!
I am a teacher, so, I hear these words a lot at school. When a student receives a lower grade than they expected but fail to realise they did not put enough effort into what they were supposed to do, they say these words trying to shift the blame to the teacher. As a mother, I hear it all the time when I need to sit down with my teenage children and say they are losing privileges because of their behaviour and the words come straight out. When I get frustrated because our plans have to change due to work commitments, the words are there. Sometimes they are not voiced but they poison the heart in the same way.
I am in the middle of course which takes you through an overview of God’s grace displayed through the entire Bible and as I consider this grace and what Jesus accomplished for us on the cross, I wanted to share that He never, not even once, said “It is not fair!”. No. He left His home in Heaven. He came as a human being. He knew the cost. He was obedient to death, even death on a cross (Philippians 2:8).
This is how the apostle Paul describes Jesus in Colossians 1:
15 The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. 16 For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him. 17 He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. 18 And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy. 19 For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, 20 and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross. (verses 15-20)
The title of this passage is the Supremacy of the Son of God, and you can see how powerful Jesus is and his authority. He was there when all things were created and all things were created by Him and for Him. We see how God was pleased to have His fullness dwell in Him (that shows us that Jesus was fully God). Jesus was there before all things in perfect harmony as the second person of the trinity and He holds all things together. This is a brief and rich description of our Lord Jesus. But then we read the end of verse 20 “by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross“. This is where some people struggle. God sent His only Son to the cross, to suffer and die for our sins. It is not fair, is it? That Jesus should have to die for my sin. The just, perfect, sinless, mighty, powerful God took my place on the cross.
What love is this? That pays so dearly? This is God’s grace. Grace is unmerited (undeserved) favour. Jesus said in John 3:
16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.
God so loved the world. That is such an amazing verse, incredible and so difficult to comprehend… such love. When I became a Christian many years ago, I could never understand a father giving his son for someone. Now I have kids and I cannot even contemplate that idea. No. I would never be able to do that. Give one of my kids to die to save an enemy or a friend, as a matter of fact. Unthinkable. This is what God did. He knew we could never gain his favour because of the sin in our hearts – that rebellion we have against the King of the Universe. God still loves us. He had a perfect plan to bring us back to Him. A costly one, but a perfect one. This is the grace of God and He offers it free for anyone who believes. God does not call us to comprehend it, but he calls us to believe in Him and place our trust in Him. When we do that we stand free, justified, righteous before God. Jesus continued in John:
18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.
Believe today. The gift is there. God’s grace and love poured out for us. Place your trust in the Son of God. We should, all of us, have been on that cross, not Jesus. We deserve death, not Jesus. If you think I am being a bit over dramatic here, all you need to do is search the depths of your heart and you will see it. So, it is not fair that the King of Kings should die for me. NO. His great love poured for us. His blood shed on the cross has redeemed us, brought us forgiveness and eternal life. We are set free. We are no longer God’s enemies.
You might already know God’s love and you have recognised Him as your king, but if you haven’t, do not turn away from this precious gift of salvation Jesus offers. Many have turned away from Him and refused to accept this glorious sacrifice He made. They said no to God and they stand condemned. Perhaps you need time to think about all of this. Perhaps you need to look at Jesus’s life and the claims He made about himself. Maybe you should investigate more about Him, so, why not spend some time reading a Gospel? Maybe join a church? Ask the questions that are in your heart? Come to Jesus, at the foot of the cross and bow down to Him. Surrender your life to Him and watch as He transforms your life for His glory.