This morning I was thinking about God's attributes like the orbits of planets in the solar system.
Justice being the outer orbit... colder and wider. In order to approach the sun you must pass through this outer orbit. Justice is barely warm. It is changeless. In those outer orbits the sun is dim, far away and distant.
The expressions of God's love and mercy are in this sweet spot orbit (like the Earth is in). Any closer and we would burn up but any farther away we would freeze. Life takes place in this narrow circular band.
Justice must be satisfied before a person can approach love.
"Truly, truly, I say to you, he who does not enter the sheepfold by the door but climbs in by another way, that man is a thief and a robber. But he who enters by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. To him the gatekeeper opens. The sheep hear his voice, and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out." - John 10:1-3 ESV
It is possible to approach this zone of life at too steep of an angle or at the wrong speed and just pass on through only to burn up as you get close or overshoot it entirely.
"But these people blaspheme all that they do not understand, and they are destroyed by all that they, like unreasoning animals, understand instinctively. Woe to them! For they walked in the way of Cain and abandoned themselves for the sake of gain to Balaam's error and perished in Korah's rebellion. These are hidden reefs at your love feasts, as they feast with you without fear, shepherds feeding themselves; waterless clouds, swept along by winds; fruitless trees in late autumn, twice dead, uprooted; wild waves of the sea, casting up the foam of their own shame; wandering stars, for whom the gloom of utter darkness has been reserved forever." - Jude 1:10-13 ESV
Jesus is our Shepard navigator. He opens the door and travels at just the right speed with just the right spin. When captured by His gravity He keeps others in the right orbit also. If you miss Him you miss your only chance. Other teachers have gravity but their ideas have set them off course casting them out into the cold. The warmth they felt was only momentary.
I am just using a little science to illustrate a truth. Some folks think that space is the answer for the future of the human race. That our origins came from out there in the blackness somewhere and answers will be found out there eventually by our ingenuity and exploration.
I am all for exploration but I think what we want is close by and not far away.
Spiritually we need to pass through judgement to find mercy. The cross is where we do just that. God came to us to give us answers. He did not come as an alien being from a different planet. He left a throne room of light in the highest Heaven to descend into His own creation so that we could be warmed by love and mercy and thrive again.
Find Jesus and you will find the sweet spot where life will thrive. His orbit will bring us right where we want to go.