Standing before a judge is a terrifying thought for many. Having to answer for some wrong isn’t a fun thought. Being arrested for some crime and having to explain what we were thinking to someone behind a bench is scary. The Shack offers something different in chapter 11. Mack didn’t have to answer for his wrongs, he finally had the chance, or so he thought, to sit in God’s place and judge the world. Who wouldn’t have wanted to condemn a person who had brutally abused and murdered your daughter. Justice is all Mack wanted.
When Mack was given his first judgement, he buckled. He didn’t see the murderer as one of his own children, who would. When placed behind the bench, he was given the choice to damn three of his five children. I happened to have five children. Which of those would I be willing to send to hell? Some of them fight with each other. Some of them have rebelled against my wishes. That would be a difficult choice. No, that would be an impossible choice. Mack’s answer is the one that any parent would give if love is the first thought. I would rather sacrifice myself than offer up one of my children.
Even when people try to change the argument back to punishing the offender, it breaks down. How far back should we punish? Should we punish the uncountable generations of abuse? Should we go back through time and hunt down all those who are worthy of our wrath? The problem quickly becomes too large. There is no end to those worthy of punishment. The problem when looking at a fallen world isn’t finding people to punish. The problem is stopping the punishment. Where does it end? When we are honest, when we measure everyone including ourselves with God’s measure of goodness, there is not one who is good, not even one.
God’s grace wins. God’s grace and mercy are the only reason we aren’t consumed. Mack has deeper conversations with Jesus and Papa in chapters 12 and 13. Please watch the Bible study to hear more!
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