One of the things I like to do as I read the scriptures is write down just one thing, one quick takeaway from the section. For me, it’s a process that helps me move from simply reading the Word to allowing the Word to read me.
It’s a simple practice that anybody can do, it helps to reinforce what I’ve read, and it gives me an opportunity to engage with what the Holy Spirit might be trying to teach me.
This is my “quick thought” from today’s reading in Psalms 96-98.
“He is coming to judge the earth. He will judge the world with justice, and the nations with his truth.” ~Psalms 96:13
His justice and truth, not mine.
We’ve been created in the image of God, so of course there’s a deep longing for justice and truth that all humanity shares. We see injustice and our hearts burn because deep within us, we know injustice doesn’t align with the truth of God’s good creation. Yet, the best our broken justice has been able accomplish is isolation, separation, division, and capital punishment. Our broken forms of punitive justice produce death!
God’s justice is very different. Job had it right when he declared “God uncovers mysteries hidden in darkness; he brings light to the deepest gloom.” Jesus, the Incarnate Word of God, suffered the greatest injustice, and in doing so uncovered the mysteries of “restorative justice.”
The restorative justice of Jesus brings healing for all and restores life for all parties involved. This is the true justice Jesus declared at the cross and in his resurrection. It’s his true resurrection justice that walks through our brokenness and restores all of his good creation to life.
And yet, as Jesus illuminates the deep mysteries hidden in darkness, we see that his resurrection justice doesn’t just restore us to the good beginning of his creation, it aligns us with the greater reality of a new Heaven and a new Earth where death itself has been defeated, relationships have been restored, the old forms of punitive justice have passed away, and the Triune God’s dwelling place will be wholly among his creation.
Beyond that, as NT Wright describes in his book “Broken Signposts, “one of the beautiful things that distinguishes the Christian idea of justice from others is that it is participatory.” Jesus continually invites us into his work of resurrection justice, and we get to take an active part in his work of creating life out of death!
True justice is his self-emptying, life-giving, resurrection justice not my broken desire for retribution and punitive justice.
This is what I heard in today’s reading, what did you hear?
#Psalms96 #Job12:22 #John1:14 #John10:10 #Revelation21 #NTWrightBrokenSignposts