Justice is a heavy topic and has many implications for our world today. I wish to keep things simple, because I am simple!
Justice, in our minds, implies fairness, or getting what one deserves. It is the act of making something fair or right. We see this in our judicial system when a criminal is sentenced for their crime. The system is working to make a situation fair or right. What of God’s word? Does it view justice the same or does God’s view of justice differ from ours?
Psalm 89:14 says that righteousness and justice are the foundation of God’s throne, therefore, justice must be important to Him.
Yet, if we consider what happened to Christ, was that fair and right? Not by our standards! But justice demands that a price be paid for the sins committed. If Christ had not paid, the penalty would be set against you and against me.
Humans have within them this desire to see justice served on those who have done wrong. Often, it turns into a desire for retribution and vindictiveness. A pay back upon the one who did wrong, to teach them a lesson, to make them suffer. When we understand that God is a God of justice, we can automatically view Him this way – a vindictive God who causes bad things to happen to us when we mess up, act up, make a mistake, or blatantly sin. Is God a God of justice? Absolutely, but not in the mixed-up human emotional way. God’s justice is righteous. And this justice only encompasses part of who He is because He is also a God of mercy, grace, forgiveness, love, and redemption.
In light of all that is occurring in our world today, justice is a hot topic. People want justice but man’s idea of how justice is to be served doesn’t measure up. See, God knows everything. We only know what the media chooses to reveal. God knows the details down to the thoughts and intentions of the heart. We only know our own opinions, ideas, and take-away from what we have heard, read, or seen with our eyes. We want justice, we demand justice – as long as justice isn’t being served on us. In that case, we would want mercy, grace, and forgiveness.
Here is the truth – Christ died in our place. Everyone is a sinner. Every. Single. Person (Romans 3:23). Sin has a penalty. There is a price to be paid. Justice has to be served for the act committed. The price is death (Romans 6:23) BUT Christ…
While we were sinners, still owing, still needing to have justice served upon us, Christ demonstrated His love for us. A love that was willing to die in our place and pay the penalty (Romans 5:8). He was just and righteous. We were unjust and deserving of death. Yet, He paid the price in order to offer forgiveness and bridge the gap between us and God (1 Peter 2:22-24; 3:18).
Yes, we deserve wrath, justice demands death, but Christ made a way for us to receive mercy.