Yesterday, I lamented our world’s condition and how it has changed especially as 2020 comes grinding to an end. Hopefully, you were left with a sense of hope because Jesus promised His disciples and us that “He would always be with us even unto the end of the age” (Matthew 28:20).
Beginning the Sabbath after Christmas, I have decided to do a preaching series closely examining eight critical areas in our life that are often broken. Perhaps we are not all broken in all of these areas, but I am afraid we are more broken than we perceive. These fractured areas in our life are Justice, Love, Spirituality, Beauty, Freedom, Truth, Power, and Trust. Each of these is essential to our Christian faith, and ultimately Christ uses these to draw us closer to God the Father. As we look closer, clearly, many of these indicators, or signs, are seemingly pointing in the wrong direction or are broken. In many cases, humanity has perverted them till we hardly recognize the direction they are to be pointing.
Our series will start with “Justice.” I specifically choose justice instead of love. Why? Because in each of us, there is both the need to love and be loved. Yet, love is often overpowered by our sense of wanting the wrong around us to be again made right. We long for justice. But, in our attempt to make right the wrongs, we are often left with unintended consequences of our own doing by attempting to play God. These unintended consequences create even more strife and tensions that last for years, even for centuries.
Once I was told that all wars start over natural resources and one country’s need for those resources. Yet, the more we study history, the majority of conflicts start over long-term grievances and the need to make the perceived injustices right. Injustices that have gnawed away at the fabric of their society eating at us until we strike back. Tragically, our attempts at justice to correct the wrong around us produce more grievances than before.
Interestingly Jesus came to show us true Justice. It is the Christmas season, a time when Christians worldwide typically celebrate the birth of Christ. Down inside, we know this is not the correct date of his birth because the Bible specifically doesn’t mention the day yet gives us the year. Instead of celebrating his birth, why not celebrate the life that came to show us the true meaning of Justice, Love, Spirituality, Beauty, Freedom, Truth, Power, and Trust.
In the Sermon on the Mountain found in Matthew chapters five thru seven, we see in verse one of chapter seven Jesus saying, “Judge not, that you be not judged. For with what judgment, you judge you will be judged; and with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you” (Matthew 7:1, 2)
How does this look? Christ gave a beautiful illustration of how this looks. It happened on the day He was hung upon that cruel Roman Cross. An instrument of torture designed to strangle the breath out of you. Naked and alone, He hung upon that cross. Yet, He did not judge those that condemned Him, nor those who nailed him to that rough instrument of torture. Instead, He said, “Father forgive them” (Luke 23:24).
Jesus, with all his humanity suffering, asked our heavenly Father to forgive those that were responsible for his suffering. If Christ can, then why can’t we do the same? Asking God to forgive those that hurt us. Instead of taking justice into our own hands, let us rely on God to work out in our lives and theirs a real sense of fairness and justice that belongs to God of which He is willing to share with us.