There is also an underlying theme of responsibility toward our neighbor to act with justice, especially in Exodus 22:21 - 24:
“You shall not wrong a stranger or oppress him, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt. You shall not harm or oppress any widow or fatherless child. If you harm or oppress them in any way, and they cry at all to Me [for help], I will most certainly hear their cry; and My wrath shall be kindled and burn; I will kill you with the sword, and your wives shall become widows and your children fatherless."
There is a sense of balance or justice -- you were oppressed, so don't oppress others. If you mistreat the fatherless and the widow, God will hear their cries and cause your wife and children to experience the same anguish. It's a sense of "as you do unto others, it shall be done unto you."
Understanding this eye-for-eye type of justice is important because it taught the Israelites and is teaching us the just consequences for our sin. Understanding the consequences that our sins deserve is essential to grasping the depth of Christ's sacrifice to save us from those consequences. Too often, we tend to think lightly of sin (or at least, our particular sins) because we are forgiven. For me, I struggle at times to recognize the significance of sins like gossip, gluttony, or pride.
These verses remind us that all sin comes at a price and that we're forgiven only because Jesus took the just penalty for our sin in our place.
What struggles with sin do you tend to minimize or excuse?