Dating the magisterium
As one theologian wrote: "Justice can never be served by punishing the innocent. If [the Son of] God then deliberately takes on Himself the suffering which is my due for the evil I have done, He is not satisfying Justice; He is perverting it.
The simple fact is that both Scripture and Catholic tradition often use "transactional," judicial, and even commercial language to describe what Jesus Christ has done to save us from the penalty and power of sin.
Yet, instead of destroying us ungrateful creatures as we deserved, God in Christ Jesus chose to suffer the death penalty for us, so we might be forgiven and have life with God. Nevertheless, many theologians today, both Catholic and Protestant, object to the Church's traditional teaching about the saving work of Jesus on the Cross.
They claim that this traditional teaching makes it appear as if God is only interested in balancing the ledger book in Heaven of our merits and demerits, that is, with clearing our debts to Divine Justice through the Death of His Son, rather than re-establishing a loving personal relationship with His lost children.
And few things will weaken the effectiveness of the New Evangelization more than a muddled Gospel message. Michael Gaitley, MIC, in his book Consoling the Heart of Jesus (Marian Press, 2010, p.
134), sets the record straight: By our sins we offended not just any man but the God-Man, an offense that deserves the penalty of death.