In the academy award –winning film Schindler’s List, viewers are confronted with the horrors and evils of the Holocaust. In the process, the true story of Oskar Schindler, a man who was something of a paradox, is told. He was a war profiteer and Nazi party member, but he rescued 1,100 Jews from the death camps, purchasing their lives at great personal expense.
The key moment in the story comes when Itzhak Stern, Schindler’s Jewish accountant, is compiling a list of prisoners for Schindler’s rescue. Suddenly Stern realizes that the names on the list—representing people being rescued from the Nazi ovens—had been purchased by Schindler with his profits. Stern’s comment? “The list is an absolute good. It is life.” This was true because the list represented a demonstration of extreme love and surprising compassion in the face of extraordinary evil.
Of all the surprising things Christ tells us about God, this may be the greatest. In terms of man’s expectations of God and Christ’s representation of God, perhaps the greatest contrast of all is seen in Christ on the cross.
Jesus said, “The Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost” (LUKE 19:10), and it was ultimately on the cross that this happened. But it happened in a way that brought resolution to the deepest needs of our hearts. The psalmist wrote: “Love and faithfulness meet together; righteousness and peace kiss each other” (PSALM 85:10).
The perfect balance of mercy and truth was resolved on the cross. In divine mercy, the Son of God took our place. By the sacrifice of his life for ours, he rescued us from the truth of who we are and the judgment we deserve.
At Calvary, Jesus paid for our sin and delivered us once and for all from what would otherwise have been the destiny of our:
It’s on the cross that we truly see “God’s glory displayed in the face of Jesus Christ” (2 CORINTHIANS 4:6). Perfect love balanced by perfect justice. Perfect truth balanced by perfect grace. It was the ultimate surprise and gift that all of us desperately need.