God made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.
— 2 Corinthians 5:21
The judgment of God is to come upon this world. Mankind has been convicted and condemned. There is only one place of escape, and that is Calvary. There is the fire of God’s retributive justice. His wrath for sin fell upon His own dear Son Who took upon Himself our guilt and endured the capital punishment we deserved, suffering the wrath of God in our stead.
When I was in seminary in Atlanta, I preached in a jail to some men in a harsh cage who were there for various crimes. I had preached for no more than a minute when a great big burly fellow stepped up to the bars and said, “Preacher, you just go tell that God of yours that all I want from Him is what I deserve.” I looked at him and said: “Sir, if you got what you deserve, the floor would open up beneath you this instant and you would plunge into Hell, because that’s what you deserve. I’m not saying that because you’re behind those bars and I’m in front of them, because if I got what I deserve, that’s exactly where I would go too.” All of the saints down through the centuries have said the same thing.
We all need God’s mercy. Thankfully, He is a merciful God.