Vol.XVIII No.IV Pg.5
June 1981

Justice For All

Curtis Wubbena

Once, a young man set out to convert the world only to find out that not all of the world wanted to be converted. The young evangelist, weary of rejection, cried out, "It's just not fair." And you know he was right! But who ever promised the lad that life was fair? Jesus sure didn't. He told his disciples, "...A servant is not greater than his lord. If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you" (John 15:20).

Where was justice when Jesus was arrested and tried? His arrest was illegal. By law the witnesses against him should have voluntarily taken him before the Jewish court of law. However, the chief priests, the elders, and the captains of the temple seized him (Luke 22:52). He was illegally tried. A capital charge was to be judged by day. Yet, it was late at night when Jesus was set before the Sanhedrin (Study Matt. 26 thoroughly). He was illegally cross-examined by his judges. The false witnesses could not harmonize their prefabricated stories (Mark 14:59). This should have lead both to the death of those who testified falsely and to the release of Jesus (Deut. 19:15f). Instead, the high priest began asking him some questions (Mark 14:60f). It was this illegal inquiry that brought forth the charge of blasphemy. When a claim of injustice is made, first think of what Jesus endured.

Throughout history those who have followed Jesus have received unjust treatment. Where was justice when our brother Stephen was apprehended and tried (Acts 6:12-13)? Stephen didn't receive any more justice than Christ did. He was killed for speaking truth. Should we expect justice today?

Our Lord was unjustly treated. Our brother Stephen was unjustly treated. And, at times we too shall be unjustly treated. A Christian should expect injustice.

At the same time a Christian must expect eternal justice. God promised that, ...we must all be made manifest before the judgment seat ... that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he hath done, whether it be good or bad" (2 Cor. 5:10). On that final day each human being must stand before the Almighty and give account of himself. It is at this time that justice is for all. Everybody will get what they deserve. "Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap" (Gal. 6:7). Only those who have earnestly desired God's mercy will receive it.

Since we believe in the eternal justice of God we should not be so concerned with how people deal with us on the earth. "Render to no man evil for evil. Take thought for those things honorable in the sight of all men ... Avenge not yourselves, beloved, but give place unto the wrath of God: for it is written, Vengeance belongeth unto me; I will recompense, saith the Lord" (Rom. 12:17, 19). This is truly following the footprints of Jesus. "...when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, threatened not; but committed himself to him that judgeth righteously" (1 Pet. 2:23). There truly is justice for all if we wait for it!