Many have wondered (myself included) how we as finite creatures who have not trusted in Christ will be punished eternally for finite sins. Consider this story as shared by David Platt in his booklet What Did Jesus Really Mean When He Said Follow Me? (see my review here):
Azeem, an Arab follower of Jesus and a friend of mine, was talking recently with a taxi driver in his country. The driver believed that he would pay for his sin for a little while in hell , but then he would surely go to heaven after that. After all, he hadn’t done too many bad things. So Azeem said to him, ‘If I slapped you in the face, what would you do to me?’ The driver replied, ‘I would throw you out of my taxi.’ ‘If I went up to a random guy on the street and slapped him in the face, what would he do to me?’ ‘He would probably call his friends and beat you up.’ ‘What if I went up to a policeman and slapped him in the face? What would he do to me?’ ‘You would be beat up for sure, and then thrown into jail.’ ‘And what if I went to the king of this country and slapped him in the face? What would happen to me then?’ The driver looked at Azeem and awkwardly laughed. He told Azeem, ‘You would die.’ The driver got Azeem’s point and realized that he had been severely underestimating the seriousness of his sin against God (pgs. 4-5).
When we as finite creatures sin against an infinitely holy God, we are deserving of an “infinitely” just penalty—eternity in Hell. The magnitude of our rebellion against God is far greater than any human analogy can put into words. When viewed in this light, Christ’s sacrifice on our behalf is seen more clearly for what it is—glorious!