Resurrected Living
"What are you going to do with your new resurrected life? This is the heroic question." Richard Rohr

Seeking Justice

There has been a lot of talk this week about justice.  Many believe justice was not served in the Casey Anthony trial and that soon she will walk away a free woman.  Some of the jurors have spoken out commenting on how they were sick to their stomach about the verdict, but the evidence was not there for a conviction.  We may never know all the details behind the death of Caylee Marie Anthony, but we can be sure of one thing, one day Caylee will receive justice.

As Americans we are obsessed with justice.  There were many people who showed up at the courthouse this week just so they could see justice served, and many more watched on TV.  Lots of people were outraged over the verdict with some even threatening violence.  It is good that so many people are interested and concerned with justice.  Try and imagine a society where no one cares about justice.  It would be chaotic and would collapse after a short period of time.  It is good that we seek justice, but the problem is our justice is usually one sided.

There are two types of justice, retributive and restorative.  We are often only concerned with retributive and know nothing or very little of restorative justice.  In the Bible we find both kinds of justice, but God is mostly concerned with restorative justice.  If someone breaks into my home and steals some of my possessions the state will go after that person, prosecute them, and imprison them if their case holds up.  This is retributive justice.  The person who caused damage to my property and took my possessions is punished, but this will not bring restoration to me and my family.  We may or may not get back what was stolen, and even if we do we may live with emotional damage for years to come.  My child may go to bed frightened every night that someone else may break into our house.  It is good that the perpetrator was apprehended and punished, but restorative justice is what we really want.  We want our lives to be restored to what they were before the crime took place.  Often the state cannot provide restorative justice, but God can.

If Casey Anthony is guilty, then she will never face retributive justice from the state.  Retributive justice is not even guaranteed by God, because if Casey Anthony submits her life to Christ and repents of her sins, then she will not be punished for any past sins no matter how bad they may be.  The only thing guaranteed in the end is restorative justice.  When Jesus returns and the resurrection occurs Caylee Marie Anthony will get her life back.  God will right all wrongs.  He will reverse the curse of sin.  He will deliver justice by restoring what has been lost or broken.

There is nothing wrong with being concerned with retributive justice.  Retributive justice is necessary in a fallen world, but what God is ultimately concerned with is restorative justice.  He wants to mend and restore the broken relationships He has with us.  When Jesus returns we will see one final act of restorative justice when God will make all things right.  After that final act of restorative justice retributive justice will be no more.  We will live in peace and harmony with God and others, because God has restored things to as they should be.  May we all look forward to that day!

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