People mean well when they say all sins are the same, but the problem is they’re not. One way they’re different is certain sins are identified as an abomination. Two such examples are recorded in Proverbs 17:5:
He who justifies the wicked, and he who condemns the just, both of them alike are an abomination to the Lord.
Two groups are an abomination to the Lord:
- Those who justify the wicked.
- Those who condemn the just.
The tremendous irony is this is exactly what God does through the Gospel!
God justifies the wicked, which is an abomination
Romans 4:5 says God, “justifies the wicked.”
The word justify means, “to declare righteous.” The Lord takes evil, wretched people and justifies them through faith in Jesus Christ.
Galatians 2:16 Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law but by faith in Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Christ Jesus, that we might be justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the law; for by the works of the law no flesh shall be justified.
God justifies the wicked every time He declares sinful people to be righteous.
God condemned the just, which is an abomination
We say things like:
- “The Jews murdered their Messiah.”
- “The Romans crucified Jesus.”
- “Our sins put Jesus on the cross.”
While these statements are true in one sense, it’s even truer to say the One Person responsible with crucifying God the Son was God the Father.
Acts 4:27 For truly against Your holy Servant Jesus, whom You anointed, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles and the people of Israel, were gathered together 28 to do whatever Your hand and Your purpose determined before to be done.
In verse 27 it sounds like Christ’s sacrifice is attributed to those individuals, but verse 28 makes it clear they were simply doing the will of God the Father.
Consider these other verses:
- Acts 2:23 [Jesus was] delivered by the determined purpose and foreknowledge of God.
- Luke 22:22 Truly the Son of Man goes [to be crucified] as it had been determined [by God].
- John 19:11 Jesus told Pontius Pilate, “You could have no power at all against Me unless it had been given you from above.”
The Gospels go to great lengths throughout Jesus’ trials and crucifixion to record His innocence:
- Matthew 27:19 Pilate’s wife said, “Have nothing to do with that just Man.”
- Matthew 27:24 Pilate said, “I am innocent of the blood of this just Person.”
- Luke 23:41 One of the criminals on a cross next to Jesus said, “This Man has done nothing wrong.”
- Luke 23:47 The centurion said, “Certainly this was a righteous Man!”
When God the Father sacrificed God the Son, He “condemned the just.” He punished an innocent, righteous man for the wicked.
So is God an abomination to Himself?
Contrast these verses:
- Ezekiel 18:23 & 33:11 God takes no pleasure in the death of the wicked.
- Isaiah 53:10a God took pleasure in the death of His Son.
Amazingly God takes no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but He took pleasure in the death of His perfect, innocent Son. He took pleasure in condemning the just, His Son, because it allowed Him to justify the wicked: each of us.