Justice isn’t always what we think it should be. Our sense of right and wrong won’t always align with what is truly just. At the same time, reasonable minds can differ on what would be just case by case. Almost all civil cases and many criminal cases are negotiated to a compromised agreement prior to a trial because of the variance of what justice may end up looking like.
I’m trained and experienced as an advocate for justice. I stand in the gap with people who need some help getting from a desperate and lonely place to a better outcome. As an advocate, you quickly come to realize that doesn’t mean that you are able to fix all of their problems. Sometimes there are consequences that can’t be avoided. Sometimes reasonable minds differ.
Within Christianity, there are almost constant cries for justice. This is a valid expression of the nature of God expressed in His creation “for the Lord is a God of justice” (Isaiah 30:8). We are practically overcome with the need to make things right, as far as we are able to determine right, and to make them right immediately. There is no appetite for waiting as it relates to justice.
I read how Jesus dealt with the unjust accusations and attempts to entrap Him in Matthew 12, recently. Following an unsuccessful attempt to accuse him (v. 9), He knew they were conspiring further (v. 12) and His reaction was counter-intuitive to the American way. According to Scripture, He withdrew (v. 13). The trust in the Father was so true that Jesus simply disengaged and continued about the Father’s business.
This all fulfilled prophecy from Isaiah 42 and justice from God’s perspective takes on new meaning. From that passage in Isaiah to the fulfillment in Matthew 12 by Jesus of this eternal reality, we can see:
- True advocacy is anointed of the Spirit of God (Matt 12:18)
- There is no need for raised voices or quarrelsome debates (v. 19)
- There is no need to overcome even the weakest adversaries (v. 20)
- God’s justice will bring hope to many (v. 21)
- God’s justice will be about Him and His glory (v. 21)
The part of justice that we will never be able to master is found in Matthew 12:20. That passage says that “justice is brought to victory.” The justice of the Lord is one that changes hearts. It will not be reliant on compliance with law, but through the victory that comes with changed hearts. True victory and true justice are accomplished by hearts that are transformed to align themselves with Jesus. He won for us on the Cross and His victory is complete. We don’t need to win anything more for ourselves or others. He won for us.