Where Injustice & Justice

Injustice and Justice I came to faith at age forty. I remember how I longed to experience everything my new Christian life had to offer. I knew God saved me for a purpose. I was not exactly sure what that purpose was, I just knew I was anxious to make my stand for Jesus. I labored to produce the good fruit that I knew would please God. I actually called my step-sister, the only Christian in my family at the time, and asked her if she would join me in evangelizing all of our family members over the course of a thirty-day period. We would divide and conquer; for Jesus! Thankfully, she declined. Evangelizing my family is a good thing. Following a checklist and calendar to do it, is not.

My burdens were heavy as I sought to live up to my potential as a child of God. I fought for causes and stood my ground, sure that I was right – I had Jesus on my side. Only problem was, it wasn’t about the gospel. It was not about loving people. While I was taking my stand and fighting for my causes, I forgot the One who took the only “right” stand. I missed the One who truly stands for justice, because he is Justice himself. I was busy making my case and arguing for the defenseless but had left out the One Pure Advocate, the only one who needs no defense. Jesus has fought every battle, defended every small, weak and defenseless human being, and won all wars, battles and injustices known to humankind. He is perfect Love, perfect Judge, perfect Mediator, and perfect Defender. He loves with an everlasting love that holds no record of wrongs.

The cross
The reality is that my motivations are impure, and so are yours. Our desires are selfish and our attitudes are judgmental. We grow weary and, at times, lazy, and our wanderings into social justice arenas amount to starts and stops. We get discouraged and grow apathetic. We want to see change and grow impatient when we do not. We are the homeless, helpless and destitute ones we are trying to help. We are all addicted, lawbreaking scoundrels. No amount of sprucing up our exterior can hide the fact that our hearts are prone to wander, and they generally end up in the bad part of the neighborhood. The good news, however, is that Christ has accounted for all this and more. At the cross, the sins of the world are taken away.

At the cross, Christ meets what God’s justice requires – death for sinners. Does that sound unjust? It should. It is not the way our world operates. People have to pay for their own mistakes. In this world, fair is fair. God’s kingdom is set up differently. God’s ways are not our ways, thankfully. ‘“My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts,” says the Lord. “And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine.’ (Isaiah 55:8).

Injustice rushes toward the cross with all the fury from the angry mob driving it. They were fighting their cause, taking their stand. They knew they were right and this man would pay, he would pay! All of their anger and cries for blood worked. They fought and they won the victory, He would be crucified at their demand. Yet, all those who cried out “crucify him” would be counted together with every other sinner throughout history. Those who cried out for his blood are the very ones his shed blood would free. Christ died to take away their sin, and yours too. For those who cried out for his blood; for those who take stands with impure motives and self-righteous claims; for those who miss him in the midst of the fight; for all the ways we get it wrong – Christ knows. He did not die because we had it all together. He did not die to pay the ultimate sacrifice for our perfect motives. Knowing our imperfections and selfish motives, he comes; he comes to me and to you. He calls us friend. He calls us beloved. Justice met injustice on the cross, and being found in Christ, we are now free.

Lori Harding is Director of Care Ministries and Women’s Support at Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church. She blogs regularly at lorileighharding.blogspot.com.

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