May 17, 2010
Reading Matthew 12:15 – 23 in which Jesus is shown to be the fulfillment of Isaiah’s prophecy: “Behold, My Servant whom I have chosen… I will put My Spirit upon Him, and He shall proclaim justice to the Gentiles. He will not quarrel, nor cry out; nor will anyone hear His voice in the street. A battered reed He will not break off, and a smoldering wick He will not put out, until He leads justice to victory. And in His name the Gentiles will hope.”
What a different approach God has to justice than the justice the world offers. Or even than the justice that “the Law” of the Old Covenant presented. The world’s way (and the Law’s) is the way in which justice occurs when there is no hope, no true forgiveness or compassion or mercy. That so-called justice presents rules and consequences (punishment!) when those rules are broken. It is harsh. An eye for an eye – or worse. And in the courts and the legal system, it often becomes twisted. Injustice often ends up reigning, as both sides (offense and defense) quarrel and argue and call the other side down while defending their own position, seeking to do whatever it takes (no matter how unjust) for them to be “victorious.”
But Jesus brought a totally new way. A way of quietness, gentleness, self-sacrifice. A way of forgiveness, caring, compassion, patient encouragement. And it is a way that is available to anyone who will accept Him. It is about others, and about “one another.” It is never self-seeking.
How many times in your life have you, or someone you know, been a “battered reed” or a “smoldering wick” – barely able to survive, damaged, hurt, victimized, in pain, devoid of hope. And then the justice system of the world – or even that of law-bound Churchianity/ religiosity – comes along, and self-righteously deals out the final destructive blow, in the name of justice.
But Jesus gives us a new way, a new justice. He took the “punishment” of the justice of the law, the justice of the natural consequences of sin (destruction and death!) upon Himself. And in doing so, He offered us love, compassion, forgiveness, mercy, freedom!
Under the dark reign of sin, God’s justice was held captive. And as we still live in a world where the dark kingdom is still active, we may indeed still experience the unjust justice of that way. But when we accept Jesus, we are also living in the Kingdom of God, where we can experience, in our walk with Him, here and now, His freedom. And we have an amazing hope.
Because one day, the injustice of the world’s form of justice will end, God’s Kingdom will rule supreme – and God’s amazing justice will be victorious!