Saturday, March 13, 2010

Jesus, the Just One

Fair. Right. Just. The desire for equity is threaded deeply in the human heart. We see the desire everywhere! Toddlers almost seem to be born looking at the size of their cookie compared to another’s. Teens often decry homework as an unfair burden. The founders of America labored to establish a ‘fair government’ on the premise that all men are created equal. Every nation, every community establishes a system for regulating human activities in a fair manner. The list of places we seek ‘fairness’ and ‘justness’ is endless—fair wages, just punishments, fair regulations, just settlements. We have a major problem, though. The human execution of justice is irreparably damaged by deceptive hearts. Every human attempt for ‘justice’ is doomed.

Our view of justice is narrow and deficient. It is as complex and beautiful as Christ Himself. Justice is a concept entwined throughout scripture. As I contemplated this title of Christ, I was awed by the contrast of the breadth of the term and our typical view of it. In scripture, justice is the standard for dispensing blessing and discipline. We tend to see justice as equivalent to punishment. God gives what is needed. We focus on giving what is ‘deserved.’ In God’s economy, He alone is in a position to see and dispense justice. He calls us to walk humbly, love mercy and do justly. In a world broken by sin and filled with unfairness, Jesus sees our needs and meets them. Jesus, the Just One, alone can fulfill our longing for what is right.

The longing for ‘right’ is God-given and leads us to Him! Like every deep desire of the heart, fulfillment is found ONLY in Jesus Christ. Pursuit of justice instead of pursuit of the Just One will lead to heartache. The ultimate example of such a pursuit is the crucifixion of Christ. The religious leaders of the day dispensed ‘justice’ from hearts deceived by self-centered desires. Like those religious leaders, we, too, turn away from Jesus—betraying Him—to pursue our own idea of what is right. We determine what ‘needs’ to be done and proceed with our own ideas and power. Without the “Just One” instructing and leading us in our desire for right can never be fulfilled. Jesus alone is “Just” and able to mete out justice. Embrace the Just One and trust Him to bring about the best for you. He is able. He is willing.

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