“When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.”
1 Corinthians 13:11
As a child, I can remember often pleading for fairness. I should say, as a child, I often cried out regarding the obvious unfairness that seemed to prevail. Now, as a father, I see the same yearning within my own children. They crave fairness, as once did we all. Deep down, they have an insatiable need for justice to prevail.
As we “grow up”, it almost seems like our original notion of justice gradually dissipates, as we slowly come to realize that the world just isn’t fair after all. We come to accept this as a self-evident and unavoidable fact of life. Life is not fair. At least. . . that seems to be the case, more times than not.
In America, we have a justice system which appears to be our attempt to curb the injustice that would otherwise run rampant. Just below the law, we have a society that attempts to operate on a vague notion of a collective conscience. Even unreligious people seem to agree that there are certain things that you just do not do. Thereby, we acknowledge that certain actions would ruin our society if left unchecked.
When push comes to shove, we all seem to acknowledge that life is not fair; that we have to work for what we want and should, unfortunately, accept that we may not obtain the full fruit of our labor. Sometimes, that is just how the cookie crumbles; am I right?
In order to rectify what we, as children, once saw as unacceptable, many take an extreme stance on the matter and appeal to our supposed wretchedness. Many shift from the innocent stance of a child that is offended by any and all injustice to a more hardened stance: “We deserve nothing other than death, oh sinner.” Fortunately, this is precisely where Jesus comes into the picture.
It is often said: To avoid what we “obviously” deserve, we may get a pass if . . . if we believe the right things about God, if we have faith, etc. Regardless of how it is broken down, conditions must be met. Disregarding the technicalities, Jesus took what we deserve (death) and conquered it in the end. Don’t get it wrong. In Christ, we still deserve nothing, they claim; but since all is owed to Jesus, we can participate in his inheritance.
Do we owe Christ our very lives? I would argue the affirmative. Jesus defeated death on our behalf. Therefore, how can death justly hold onto what is his? The longer I swim in his grace, the more I realize the significance of what he accomplished on Calvary. We who trust in him find fulfillment in him because justice has, in some real way, been served. Jesus’ suffering was by no means just. Nevertheless, he will find justice in obtaining what belongs to him.
With God, there is no pleasure found in the death of the wicked. How much less does he find pleasure in the death of the innocent? This is precisely why Jesus was destined to defeat death and to fully secure that for which he died.
You. Jesus died for you. Your destiny in secure in that. Yet, until all have been drawn to the cross, and not a moment before, there will ever be an echoing cry calling out from eternity—a cry for justice.