The fullness of grace and truth in the person of Jesus was indeed glorious. It was the coming together of two things that are so often opposites in the hearts of men. Some souls very easily display grace. There is a natural and easy forgiveness that they give to others, but they have a low view of the Divine truth that has been violated. Then there are those who have a very clear understanding of the majesty of Divine truth and an overwhelming sense of repulsion towards the sin that rebels against it, but so often these are unable to forgive the trespasser. There is more truth than grace. John tells us that in the person of Jesus, however, we find something altogether unexpected. We find in Him the perfect blending of two opposites. In Christ, we see the fullness of grace perfectly united with absolute truth.
There is forgiveness that has no value because it has no sense of wrong, and there is a sense of wrong that repels because there is no ability to forgive. In Christ, however, there is fullness of forgiveness combined with total truth. You see, the glorious thing about the love of Jesus is that it comes from light, not darkness. He forgives sinners because He bore in His body their sin. There was never a time when His forgiveness was more full than when He bore His fullest witness to the terrible truth of the sin of man.
When did Jesus cry out, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do”? Was it at the time when He first began to see our sin as a simple slip-up or just a small violation of God’s law? No, it was when the violated law was stabbing His heart and the reproach of our sin was breaking His body. His love comes from His pity, and His pity was born of His purity. He knew that we had lost what He calls our soul. He knew that we were blind in a world of beauty, deaf in a world of song, cold in a warm world and dead in a world pulsing with life. That’s why He looked up to the veiled face of the Father and cried, “I’m covered in their darkness – give them light. I’m bruised by their sorrow – give to them joy. I’m shivering in their coldness – give them warmth. I’m dying their death – give them eternal life.”
Calvary was the hour of Christ’s greatest glory. It was there, like the subtle shades of a rainbow, that colors which had never before been combined were joined – justice and forgiveness, righteousness and peace, penalty and pardon, the verdict of death and the pronouncement of life. Heave and earth met, judgment and mercy embraced, and grace and truth stood shoulder to shoulder. The moment of sin’s greatest condemnation was the time of the world’s fullest redemption. This is the glory of the Savior’s love.