“Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.” Luke 23:42
Many attempts have been made to reinterpret the wrath of God. C. H. Dodd famously said that “the wrath of God” is simply describing “an inevitable process of cause and effect in a moral universe.”
That sounds easier to live with, doesn’t it? You reap what you sow. Do good and good will come to you. Do bad and bad will come to you. There is an inevitable cause and effect.
Try telling that to the thief on the cross. Here is this man who has wasted his life as a thief and now his life is coming to a miserable and painful end. He finds himself next to Jesus. What is Jesus going to say to him? If C. H. Dodd was right, our Lord would have to say, “It’s too late for you. Don’t you realize that this is a moral universe? There’s an inevitable process of cause and effect. You’re reaping what you’ve sown. You’re getting exactly what you deserve.”
C. H. Dodd is trying to make Christianity more acceptable, but there is no hope for sinners here. The hope for sinners is that between us and the wrath of God stands the cross of Jesus. Sin was laid on Jesus and the divine wrath toward it was poured out, spent, exhausted.
Jesus took on Himself the sins of the thief and that is why He was able to say to him, “Today you will be with me in paradise.” Then Christ rose from the dead, and He stands before us today as a living Savior. He holds in His hands and offers to us the priceless gift of peace with God. He is ready to forgive your sins and fill you with His Spirit. He is able to save you from wrath, and reconcile you to the Father. He has opened the door of heaven and He is able to bring you in.
What are you waiting for?