I used to hear people mention the “scandal of grace”. I didn’t ever really get that, as Grace was hard for me to fathom in its basic form. Let alone to scandalous levels. So it sounded good and lofty, but devoid of weight in my life experience. But as I come to know Grace in increments and experiences, I see a tiny smidgen of the scandal involved. The parable of the estate owner in Matthew 20, who hired workers at all hours of the day, yet paid them all the same, is one portrayal. We demand justice. God delights in mercy. We want what we feel we’ve earned and deserve. God wants to give us what we didn’t. Unmerited favor. But for me, the most scandalous part of grace, is also the most offensive to our sense of justice. It violates our system of doing good and being rewarded vs doing bad and being punished. Grace violates the law and is then persecuted by the law and law-minded people. Because the true scandal of grace lies in the fact that God Loves and Jesus died for both the victim and the perpetrator of every crime. He loved Cain and He loved Abel. He loves the pimp and the prostitute; the alter boy and the priest who violated him; the abusive parent and the cowering child. He loves the demon possessed and the pure in heart; the adulterer and the one who is heart broken by the infidelity; the child pornographer and the innocent scarred life involved; the soldier with post traumatic stress from all he has seen and done in the conflict, as well as those he had to take action against. God loves to see justice turned on its ear in the face of mercy. He desires to see all people saved regardless of worthiness. To know that those who wrongly use us, betray us, wound us, are equally loved and accepted by God along with us...this, to me, is the scandal of grace.
by Debra Elmore