READ: GENESIS 18:25; JOHN 3:16-18; ROMANS 8:1-11; 14:11-12
Do you know anyone who has been on a jury in the United States of America? In the USA, a person accused of a crime has the right to a trial by jury. That means other American citizens are randomly selected to hear the evidence and decide whether or not the person accused of a crime is guilty. Their final decision is to be based solely on the evidence given in court.
For that reason, jury members are not allowed to talk about the case with anyone outside of the jury. Since people who are not jurors haven’t heard all the evidence, they might offer information they think is true, but this information may not be correct or relevant to the case. Then someone else’s opinion might sway a jury member’s thinking, and their decision could be based on wrong information.
While everyone on the jury may want to be fair and make the right decision, it can often take quite a while before all the jurors are able to agree on the issues in a case. And sometimes, even with the best intentions, juries make the wrong call. As a result, people can be wrongly convicted of crimes they didn’t commit—or deemed innocent when they are actually guilty.
This sober reality can make us appreciate God in a deeper way. No matter how fair we try to be, we’re still human, and we’re all broken by sin. Only God is all-wise and completely fair, and He is the Judge of all the earth. Each of us will have to stand before Him someday, and we’re all guilty of sin and deserve to face its consequence: death without hope of resurrection.
But God, our just Judge, is merciful, and He has intervened on our behalf. Because He loves us, He became human and took all our sin upon Himself when He went to the cross. Jesus faced an unjust trial, and though He was not guilty of any wrongdoing, He let Himself be put to death. He laid down His life for us, and then He rose from the grave to defeat sin and death. Now, whoever puts their trust in Jesus receives God’s mercy and is declared not guilty!
As God’s forgiven people, we can learn to walk with God in His ways of justice and mercy (Micah 6:8). The Holy Spirit empowers us to love God and neighbor as we wait for Jesus to return and finally right every wrong. • A. W. Smith
• Think about court cases you’ve read about or seen in the news. What aspects of the world’s justice systems seem to align with God’s justice? What aspects don’t seem to align?
• As Christians, when we encounter situations that don’t align with God’s justice, how should we respond?
“Won’t the Judge of the whole earth do what is just?” Genesis 18:25 (CSB)