The Need for Justice
One of the key traits of goodness is justice. Therefore, if God is good, He must also be just.
When we do wrong, and we all do, a price must be paid - that's justice. This penance is similar to a criminal being punished for his crime. The punishment for our wrong doings is death and an eternal separation from God. If we sin, no matter the severity, we have sentenced ourselves to an eternal separation from God.
So What’s the Hope?
God, knowing that we could never justify ourselves to make it to heaven decided to pay the penalty for us. Let's be clear: the penalty must be paid; justice requires it. To do this He sent His one and only Son to come to earth. While on Earth, He lived a perfect and sinless life. He then died as payment for our sin. His death paid the price for us. All we must do is accept His gift as payment.
Think of it this way…
There once were two childhood friends. As they grew older they went their own ways. One went to school for several years and eventually became a judge. The other, unfortunately, turned to a life of crime. One day the criminal appeared before his friend, the judge. The judge instantly recognized his friend and remembered the fun they used to have as children. After hearing the evidence the judge had to sentence his friend to pay the appropriate fine to fit his crime.That's justice. But then the judge took off his robe, walked around the bench and took out his checkbook. He then wrote a check for the exact amount of the fine and handed it to his friend. That's mercy. And so it is with God. He has fined us the exact amount our sin requires. He also stands ready with the check. All we need to do is reach out and accept it.