Just as a father has compassion on his children, so the Lord has compassion on those who fear Him. Psalm 103:13
What happens to God’s compassion when we blow it? In an interesting paradox, John says, “I am writing these things to you that you may not sin. And if anyone sins…” (1 John 2:1). I write so you won’t sin, he says—but if you do, let’s talk about it. Notice that he doesn’t say, “that you may think about cutting down on your sinning.” God’s desire for us is clear in Scripture: “You shall be holy, for I am holy” (1 Peter 1:16). When I sin, I know what I am to do: confess it (1 John 1:9). But what does the holy God do when I sin?
In Jesus Christ, the holiness of God and the love of God come together concerning our sins. Jesus is our Advocate, our Paraclete—“one called to your side,” your Defender, the One who pleads your case on your behalf. Jesus pleads our case first because God is holy and we’re not, and second because Satan accuses us “before God day and night” (Revelation 12:10).
Does Jesus plead our innocence? No, He doesn’t lie. We are sinners; we have sinned against our heavenly Father, shaming His name. For that we deserve to be cast out of any relationship with Him. We deserve death. But Jesus shows the Father the scars in His hands, and claims our legal acquittal. He has paid our death penalty Himself, on the cross. This is not love pleading with justice, but justice pleading with love. God desires to show grace and mercy if given a holy and just basis to do so. And that basis is the righteousness of Christ. Because of what Jesus did—and does now!—we stand acquitted, justified.