Penalty. Let’s have a look at this word.
It is the price you pay for a mistake, for breaking the rules. It is a forfeit. This is true in football, too. It is the punishment for committing a foul in the space in front of the opposition’s goal, which is known as the penalty area. It is the space that is also the terrain of the goalkeeper.
But for the opposition, a penalty is a golden opportunity. A free gift of an uninterrupted chance to put the ball into the net, with only the goalkeeper allowed to defend the target. It is the nearest thing to being given a gratuitous goal.
Two contradictory perceptions of exactly the same thing, but both perfectly true.
The Cross. Compare!
It is the price God paid – humanity’s reward to God for daring to live a perfect life. We couldn’t cope.
But it turned out to be The Plan – God himself, willingly, paying the price for rebellion against God.
And for those who ‘take the penalty’ – who put their trust in this cross of Jesus, receive this gift – they indeed find this free gift of forgiveness. They have uninterrupted access to the grace of God. It is the power of God to everyone who believes.
God’s amazing foolishness.