“But now the righteousness of God has been manifested…the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe. For there is no distinction [between Jew and Gentile]: for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith. This was to show God’s righteousness, because in his divine forbearance he had passed over former sins. It was to show his righteousness at the present time, so that he might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus” (Romans 3:21-26).
Wayne Grudem, in explaining this passage, says the following:
“In the cross we have a clear demonstration of the reason God punishes sin: if he did not punish sin he would not be a righteous God, and there would be no ultimate justice in the universe. But when sin is punished, God is showing himself to be a righteous judge over all, and justice is being done in his universe.” [Wayne Grudem, Systematic Theology (Grand Rapids: Zondervan Publishing House, 1994), p. 510.]
I think, in Dr. Grudem’s statement, we have not only an explanation for the cross of Christ, but an explanation for hell, also. Hell, like the cross, demonstrates that God is righteous and that there is ultimate justice in the universe. Both hell and the cross show forth the glory of God.