Justice isn’t defined by the conglomerated feelings of society. The ancient lie, which continually rears its head throughout history, is that justice is a balancing act of satiating competing clans.
Fallen man can only produce garbled justice. Guilt is decided by tribe affiliation, not indifferent truth. Justice goes to the highest bidder. The right or wrong of an action is determined by whether the internal urges of the individual were done out of self-expression & for self-fulfillment. The agnostic libertarian who wants to be free to do whatever the hell he pleases, and the progressive who wants to reshape justice according to an intersectional merit system both refuse to bend the knee before the God in Whom mercy & justice meet.
Our Reformed forefathers got the imagery right when they depicted Lady Justice as wearing a blindfold. Justice & injustice aren’t determined by man, but by the transcendent law of God. An act is either just or unjust. The justice is determined by the objective truth of God’s Law, not by the aggregated outrage of various constituencies. The reason we see injustice all around us is because our nation has come to hate God & His law. Because of this, we have heaped up to ourselves a flood of justly deserved injustices, warnings of worse judgements yet to come.
The Gospel offers a way out. God, in Christ, reckons guilty sinners as justified. This is scandalous to the self-righteous sinner looking to justify his sin. How dare God forgive those people we’ve determined to cancel? How dare God question our enlightened views of morality or find fault in our ethical arrangements?
The options are clear: you’re either a sinner under wrath, or a sinner under grace. You’ve either repented and made restitution, or you remain in your rebellion to truth. The only question is, will we take God’s justice, or man’s injustice?
God draws clear lines for us in His law, leaving us all condemned. Yet He also draws clear lines in the Gospel: all who come unto Christ will receive mercy, and pardon, and righteousness not our own. Earthly justice leaves us all guilty, and dispenses a capricious and tribal mercy. God’s justice makes way for our guilt to be borne by Another, and for covenant mercy to rest upon those who come to Christ from every nation, tribe, and tongue. We must, as a nation, turn from treasuring our mangled form of justice, producing a harvest of injustices, instead of bending before God’s throne of justice and mercy which meet in Christ. This Gospel justice is the only basis for us to carry out the task of maintaining earthly justice in our respective jurisdictions of family, church, and civil government.
As the puritan pastor Octavius Winslow put it wonderfully: “Justification is a poor, law-condemned, self-condemned, self-destroyed sinner, wrapping himself by faith in the righteousness of the Lord Jesus Christ.” The only way for justice and mercy to coexist is in Christ. So come to Him, confess your guilt, and then receive His mercy.