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Justice Hurts

Justice seems so rational, so easy, so organized. But justice is nothing like that at all. My friend’s eyes filled with tears as she told me her experience of serving on a jury. Her grief was deep and her emotions were intense.

She did not feel guilt. She knew without a doubt that she had done the rightthing. The entire jury was fully convinced of the defendant’s guilt. Itwasn’t doubt which troubled her. What felt so wrong was the resolutionto his guilt. The jury gave him the most lenient punishment in hopes that hewould turn his life around quickly. This they agreed upon too. But it would betough where he was going to make such a change. His life choices had broughthim to this place. He would face five long years in prison to pay forwhat he did. It was a sentence the prosecutor and his victims were most unhappyto accept.

Her grief and sadness were not about a case that wasn’t argued well, orthings had being carried out in an unjust manner. Her grief was in the knowledgethat a resolution had not necessarily been met. The kind of justice offered camenowhere close to solving the problem of this man’s (or any man’sor woman’s) propensity to sin.

Our manmade laws of justice are completely inadequate to resolve the sins committedin this world. In fact, the law leaves us all without hope of justice. It iscompletely unjust that I should break the law by going five miles over the speedlimit on my way to work. According to the law I should be punished and eventuallyhave my driver license removed for ignoring the exact law that is written forme to follow. If I seek to make myself just through following the laws of mycountry or even the laws given by God to Israel, I will end up in the same place.As Paul put it to the Galatians, I will end up in a prison.

Before this faith came, we were held prisoners by the law, locked up until faith should be revealed. So the law was put in charge to lead us to Christ that we might be justified by faith. (Galatians 3:23-24).

You see, the faith described is what was missing from my friend’s encounterwith justice. Justice put the man in prison, but left him there, even if he getsout in five years as his sentence requires. Though justice was served, it meantprison. Faith is the only resolution that will set anyone free from prison.

The weight of her actions was heavy on her heart. That man may not know it, butwhen my friend sat on the jury for his trial, he gained an intercessor who wouldprobably never contact him, but would anonymously pray him through the next fiveyears he spent in prison and the rest of his life. She knew that he was in prisonlong before he was sent there and that he would remain imprisoned by the lawuntil he comes to be justified by faith. The law’s justice will never freea man; we are justified only by grace through faith.

 

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