Getting What We Deserve
Getting What We Deserve
1 Peter 2:19-25
Have you ever felt that you were wrongfully punished for something that you never did? Maybe you actually did do something wrong and maybe you feel that the punishment you received was too harsh. Maybe you have felt like the time you paid did not fit the crime you committed. In some cases, I think people these days believe that there should not be any consequences at all. There are those who think that they can somehow get away with whatever they `please. Hence, we have the phrase getting away with murder. However, we can only go for so long in getting away with stuff before we are either found out or our conscience catches up with us. Bottom line though is that we should never be surprised when we get what we deserve.
1Peter 2:19-25 talks about the difference between receiving a just or unjust punishment. It seems though that it really does not matter so much as if we are being punished for doing something wrong or not. If we deserve a beating or a scolding for something that we did wrong then what credit is that to us. We do something wrong then a consequence should rightfully be expected. Go figure, you do something wrong you are not rewarded but instead are disciplined. What an amazing concept. However, if we are innocent and yet still are punished and we accept that punishment willingly then it is credited to us as righteousness. Those who have suffered and died for bearing the name of Christ were not concerned about the judgment from the world but were more concerned about an eternal judgment from their creator. Likewise, when Christ suffered and died though he was innocent he did not fight or argue back and he let them hurl insults at him and let them beat him and nail him to a cross. Each blow that he felt was for our sake. He was innocent yet was unjustly punished. He was not worried for his own life but he was worried more about the eternal life of you and me. By doing this he opened a way for us to enter the sheep pen which is the kingdom of God.
In John 10:1-10 Jesus talks about how he is the gate to the sheep pen and we are the sheep. It is only through the gate that one can safely enter in. However, there are those who attempt to enter by a different way. Such of those as these are considered thieves and robbers. They are trying to force their way in. There are also those who believe that they can buy their way in. However, Jesus is clear that the only way to enter is through the gate. Only by entering through the gate will we be saved. However, those who try to enter by other means will not find safety for the Shepherd protects his sheep from the thieves and robbers. Those who are truly his sheep hear his voice and will go out and find pasture. Jesus says that he has come so that his sheep may have life. Those who enter the other way will not have life and will justly get what they deserve. However, the sheep even though they may not have always been innocent are still saved because they have entered through the gate and have been washed clean as they enter in. They may not deserve to find pasture however; the shepherd still cares for them anyway and cleanses them through love.
In the short amount of time that I have lived in this world I have had the chance to witness a lot of different just and unjust things. A lot of them had to do within the work place. My first job was working maintenance at a cemetery. We were supposed to be there at about 7 am to start work and would generally finish by around 11 or 11:30 am. However, the guys would often get there and sit for about 30-45 minutes talking before they would start work. I am not much of a morning person so I often had a hard time getting up to make it in time for the 30-minute sit and chat time. However, there were also times that I would not make it until 8 am. However, I was still being paid as if I had worked from 7 on. Eventually, the foreman had enough of my tardiness and so one week he recorded my actual hours that I was present so I was paid for the actual number of hours that I worked. My check was therefore about 50-75 dollars shorter than usual. He handed me my check and I looked at it for a moment and quickly processed what was happening. He asked if there was a problem and I said nope. I understood that I was getting what I deserved. That was all that I needed from then on to make sure that I was going to be on time for that job. If I wanted to be paid more then I would have to work more. In the beginning I was given grace and was receiving more than I deserved however, grace on earth eventually runs out and I then received what I truly deserved.
In my current job I have seen both sides. I have seen those who have received what they truly deserved, I have seen those who have received less than what they deserved, and I have also seen those who have received more than they deserve. I have seen those punished for trying to do what they thought was right and I have seen those rewarded for doing wrong. I have seen employees with bad attitudes, who regularly call off, and who slack off at work yet they are rewarded with a raise if they complain enough in the “hopes” that they will change their attitude and work ethic and rise to the expectations that management has for them. However, I have yet to see this work and instead have seen other employees follow suit as if it were a cancer in the work place. Yet there are those who are great workers and have great attitudes that receive little or no appreciation for their efforts. As a result, they leave in search for a leader or employer who will appreciate their efforts. I am sure many of you have been on the receiving end of this too. Take heart though because your efforts still do matter for someone.
In the end justice will be made and we need to figure out if we are going to enter the sheep pen through the gate or if we are going to try to get ahead by entering in some other way. I will tell you though that if we try to bypass the gate then we will always and forever receive what we deserve. Justice will be made. However, if we enter by the gate then then we will receive better than what we deserve as our shepherd has already taken upon himself the justice that we deserve and he will lead us to pasture.
In one way or another everyone is trying to seek meaning in life. There are those who understand that they are in need of salvation however, they try to receive it through other means than Christ. There are those who believe that they can enter in by just being good and doing good things. However, even though it is good to do good things, trying to enter in with the sheep this way is like trying to enter in by going over the wall. They will still be considered a thief. As they are trying to buy their way in through good works. Then there are also those who would prefer to pretend that the sheep’s pen, the shepherd, and the gate do not exist and that they never existed. They instead spend their time trying to justify ways in which rules and laws of nature all exist by chance. We exist just because we do by chance and by enough time and chance we came accidently be. They believe that when our lives are over then they will just be recycled back into the cosmos to be fuel for the next accidental creation. Therefore, there is no purpose and no reason for their existence.
No matter what side of the spectrum of belief we are on there is one thing that we can never escape as long as there is the rule of law in this universe. We will all get what we deserve. There is no escaping this fate. Whether it happens here on earth or it happens after or days in this world are over. Justice will always be made. However, given the choice I would prefer to enter through the gate of Jesus Christ who already received the punishment of justice that was due me and be washed as one of his sheep without blemish. It is my hope and my prayer that those either watching or those reading this message will desire to enter through the same gate as well. I know that some will however, I know that there are some who will still desire to ignore the existence of such gate. Even so I pray that they will listen to the call of the shepherd and follow the shepherd’s voice.