Where is the Justice?

God created man so that he possesses a sense of justice. Even Hollywood attests to this by producing fictional movies that are created to satisfy the natural craving for justice to be carried out. After the downtrodden are mistreated, there is satisfaction when the villain is brought to justice and put in their right place. Unlike make-believe Hollywood, God has set His stage in reality where an infinite injustice has been done to His own Son at the hands of wicked villains, us, His creatures. To their own condemnation, even the religious leaders of Jesus’ day had that God-given sense of justice as seen by their reaction to the parable of the landowner. “Listen to another parable: There was a landowner who planted a vineyard. He put a wall around it, dug a winepress in it and built a watchtower. Then he rented the vineyard to some farmers and went away on a journey. When the harvest time approached, he sent his servants to the tenants to collect his fruit. The tenants seized his servants; they beat one, killed another, and stoned a third. Then he sent other servants to them, more than the first time, and the tenants treated them the same way. Last of all, he sent his son to them. `They will respect my son,’ he said. But when the tenants saw the son, they said to each other, `This is the heir. Come, let’s kill him and take his inheritance.’ So they took him and threw him out of the vineyard and killed him. Therefore, when the owner of the vineyard comes, what will he do to those tenants? ‘He will bring those wretches to a wretched end,’ they replied” (Matthew 21:33-41). The religious leaders knew in their hearts that the farmers were deserving of punishment fit for their wicked crime. They only realized after they answered, that in the parable, Jesus was the Son of the landowner and they were the wicked farmers deserving of punishment (just as we are deserving of it). The Bible makes clear that the score must be settled and the punishment will fit the crime. The characters in the parable were mere people, a landowner, his son and the wicked farmers. Yet, the parable was based upon an historical event involving God, His Son and His creatures.

Seeing that the life of His Son is of infinite worth to the Father, the punishment will be eternal. Only eternal punishment fits a crime of infinite magnitude. John writes about that day of reckoning. “Look, He is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see Him, even those who pierced Him; and all the peoples of the earth will mourn because of Him. So shall it be! Amen” (Revelation 1:7). The word “Amen” can be translated “So be it!” or “Yes!” As John sees this revelation of the coming judgment, his heart agrees with it, “Yes!” In that day, no creature will be able to say, “This is not fair.” The redeemed of the Lord will look upon the judgment in that day and it will seem perfectly just. Our hearts will rejoice in the judgment rather than feel pity for those being cast into hell. In that day, our eyes will be able to see things as God sees them. The crime being judged will be seen for what it is, one of infinite magnitude, the slaying of God’s innocent Son. Like John, we will cry out, “Yes!” Paul says that on that day, Jesus will be “revealed from heaven in blazing fire with His powerful angels. He will punish those who do not know God and do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. They will be punished with everlasting destruction and shut out from the presence of the Lord and from the majesty of His power on the day He comes to be glorified in His holy people and to be marveled at among all those who have believed” (II Thessalonians 1:7-10). Concerning the day of His appearing, we wait with longing mainly because we will see Him and be with Him forever. We normally don’t spend much time consciously waiting for justice to be executed. Yet, something deep inside, perhaps in the sub-conscience, knows that an infinite injustice has been carried out and things must be set right.

While we wait for the glorious day of His appearing, we carry out the mission He assigned to us. As we do, we find ourselves rejoicing whenever Jesus is exalted in our eyes. In this age, Jesus is exalted whenever the gospel is preached and even more so when a sinner repents and is translated out of the kingdom of darkness into the kingdom of God’s dear Son. Just as there is great rejoicing by God in heaven when one sinner repents, there is great rejoicing in the hearts of His people here on earth whenever they witness it. Whenever we see a sinner repent, we get a glimpse of justice being served. The precious blood of Jesus was spilt as payment to redeem sinners so whenever we observe it happen, we are seeing just what the payment purchased. In this, the purpose of the spilling is fulfilled and we get a glimpse of its worth. Here is a soul purchased by Christ for His glory. In this, Jesus is greatly exalted.

There was a time in our lives when we did not experience deep joy over souls coming to Christ. Our lives were driven by our own individual pursuit of happiness apart from God. When God takes up His dwelling in a soul, that soul suddenly has new desires and new joys. The fact that our souls are especially delighted when we witness a sinner first trust in Christ is one of the evidences that His Spirit dwells in us. The saving of souls is the outcome of the cross that naturally delights our new heart.

While we wait for the day of His appearing, we can become weary if it seems like the work He did is being ignored and mocked by the world. Satan taunts God’s people saying, “See, he died for nothing. Nobody is paying attention. No one is benefiting from His death.” We know by faith that, “God exalted Him (Jesus) to the highest place and gave Him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father” (Philippians 2:9-11). But while in this flesh, we often grow weary whenever the reality of Christ’s exaltation gets obscured. When we watch God deliver a sinner from the kingdom of darkness, our hearts are refreshed and we rejoice because in the saving of each soul, the purpose for Jesus’ death is once again made clear to us. Indeed His blood was not spilt in vain! Inwardly, we are satisfied as we watch God put Satan in his place before our very eyes. Besides those occasions when we witness a sinner repent, this justice is also carried out whenever the gospel is preached and understood by those in darkness. When we watch God speak His gospel to a sinner so that they begin to comprehend it for the first time, Christ is again exalted in our eyes and no longer are we being lulled into thinking that His death was for nothing. Whenever the gospel is preached and understood by a sinner, we are inwardly delighted at the exaltation of Christ and we are motivated once again to speak forth His praises and point them out to the world around us. It is the desire of every regenerate heart to see Jesus lifted up and this can be done whenever we speak of His Excellencies.

Jesus, while we await your return, our hearts grow weary because your glory is obscured. Open our mouths to speak of Your Excellencies so that sinners see the great light and give you honor!

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