What is justice?
Where does it come from?
Who decides if something is just or unjust?
I remember my senior year of high school like it was 10 years ago…because it was. But I remember one night, it was late, and I was trying to get home from a band concert (please do not judge me. It was cool, I promise). I could not find my phone anywhere, I knew my parents would not be happy that I lost it and I had one more place to look…the band hall. I put my car in what I thought was reverse and hit the gas. Only to discover that what I thought was reverse was really drive. It only took seconds for this to become known. BAM!!!! I hit a pole. The front of my car was so banged up it was not funny. I found myself a little lost. You see my phone was still lost, and now I wrecked my car.
My parents had a moment to decide how to handle this situation. I called them from my friend’s phone and told them the story, probably through tears. That was how I operated in high school. Justice would have been for them to yell and make me drive that wrecked car for weeks till I could pay for it (and with my $10 a week it actually probably would have taken years to fix it).
Instead, my parents picked love and grace. They chose to calmly respond, and in their time, which was quite quickly, they fixed my car. When I found my phone they where happy. Life moved on.
At the time I saw this as a moment where my parents where “cool.” Now thinking about it, I see it as a moment where my parents could have found justice in making me live with the consequence of my actions and instead chose their own form of justice (which I was totally grateful for and still am learning all the moment had to teach me).
God’s justice is a lot like this moment. Truth is, I should have had to drive that car around and explain to everyone what happened. Live in my shame of wrecking a great car. The bigger truth is I deserve hell; I deserve to die for my sin. Yet God sent his son to die in my place and pay for sins he did not commit, so that one day I could spend eternity with him in heaven.
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son. This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. John 3:16-19
What is the justice?
This justice is love greater than we can think through. This justice is grace that knows no ends. This justice is patience that we will never be able to give; yet God so graciously gives it to us.
I love how verse 19 puts it, “This is the verdict.” It is simple from this point on, live in the justice that God has so graciously given to us in his Son Jesus.
About the Writer:
Liz, just a girl who spends her days in seminary classes, spends her afternoons interning with First Baptist Dallas Women’s, spends her evenings with her friends laughing and challenging the definition of community to be something much deeper. If you need her you can probably find her watching Dancing with the Stars while on Pinterest, challenging the worldly norm of a 28 year old.