In his classic novel, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, C.S. Lewis penned a most-intriguing dialogue between Mr. Beaver and Susan. Mr.Beaver is telling Susan about Aslan the Lion. He explains,
“Aslan is a lion—the Lion, the great Lion.”
“Ooh” said Susan. “I’d thought he was a man. Is he-quite safe? I shall feel rather nervous about meeting a lion”
“Safe?” said Mr. Beaver. “Who said anything about safe? ‘Course he isn’t safe. But he’s good…”
Lewis here masterfully portrays the Holy God of the Bible as a majestic, powerful lion. Like Susan, many people are “rather nervous” about meeting God; they hope he is “safe.” But try as they might to make their peace with God, there’s a problem.
So long as one is chargeable with sin of any kind, God cannot be at peace. Like Lewis’s Aslan, “the Lion, the great Lion,” the Holy Judge of heaven “isn’t safe.”
This raises a question. Can God ever be at peace about a guilty sinner? The answer is a resounding YES! This is because, while God “isn’t safe… he’s good.” He has lovingly provided a peace-making solution.
The Bible explains how one’s sin issue is ended the moment one is justified. But what does it mean to be justified?
To be justified means one has been pronounced righteous by God. It implies one has made thorough amends—thorough payment for every sin committed. But hold on! Has any one of us ever accomplished that? NO! The thing is impossible!
A prophet in the Bible, whose name was Job, understood this dilemma all too well. He asked,
…how can a person be justified before God? -Job 9:2b
What a predicament! Can anyone do for us what we can never hope to do for ourselves?
It is here the goodness of God comes to our rescue! Indeed, this is the very purpose for which Jesus, God’s Son, came to earth two thousand years ago. Through his death on the cross Jesus paid the penalty for every sin committed. And by his resurrection from the dead God demonstrated his full acceptance of that payment. The Bible explains how,
He [Jesus] was delivered over to death for our sins and was raised
to life for our justification. -Romans 4:25
But just how do the achievements of Jesus become ours? To put this question another way, exactly how does God justify a person? The Bible could not be more clear, it is by faith—e.g., by simply taking God at His word.
…since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. -Romans 5:1
God lovingly offers the achievements of Jesus as a gift. The moment one accepts this amazing gift from the good hand of God by faith, e.g., by believing God’s promise, it becomes one’s own as surely as he or she had accomplished all the work. At faith’s moment in time, the Holy Judge of heaven pronounces one justified!
Having been justified by God, one need not be “nervous” about meeting the Lion of heaven. That person can say with gratitude and confidence,
“Jesus made peace with God for me—He is my Peacemaker!”