Tuesday, July 05, 2011
From My Sure-To-Make-People-Mad File:
As a Christian it’s amazing and revealing to me what happens when someone guilty in the eyes of most is proclaimed innocent and made free.
I think we have a terrible struggle to believe the gospel is as good as God thinks it is—Everyone is innocent! Everyone goes free! And moments like this slap us in the face and make us mad. “What! No freakin’ way! She’s guilty as sin!” Whether she did it or didn’t, I don’t know—it’s not my point. It’s not my judgment.
But we don’t receive justice, we don’t get the penalty we deserve either—none of us! We have received something far better and fantastic but have trouble believing it’s so. And that’s at least a little of what today’s verdict reveals. We still think judgment, cold, harsh and exacting, should prevail. It’s what we deserve, or at least what someone more guilty than us deserves. Judgment and justice, who is right and who is wrong and the reward and penalty deserved, is how we occupy our minds.
It’s difficult to think of how the kingdom we’re truly a part of sees us and treats us—we’re magnificent, holy, rich, blameless and noble, having been made that way through Christ’s cross and resurrection. And today’s verdict reveals how lightly convinced we are.
I’m not implying that the guilty should not face consequences. I am saying that in light of overwhelming evidence that today’s verdict infuriated the many onlooking judges, we might want to see how deeply we believe we’ve been made innocent and free and favored—and how we got there. Maybe we’ll discover we’ve got a pretty shallow grasp of the gospel.