Welcome to Lent! This season, we’re blessed with a set of Lenten devotionals by contributing author Lee Hinkle. Find out more about Lee at the bottom of this article, or at hinkledownunder.com.
Do you think John was overwhelmed when he spotted Jesus in the crowd walking toward him? Did his heart leap? Did he give out a sigh of relief? Finally, you are here.
Anticipation had to be high. He spots Jesus and proclaims, “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world! This is he of whom I said…” He is finally here. I have been telling you He is coming and some of you didn’t believe me, but He is here. The Son of God is here.
Jesus is the one who is being talked about in Isaiah 42. He is the one who will bring forth justice. He receives God’s glory. He opens eyes and sets prisoners free. They can’t do it themselves, and John couldn’t do it for them. Only Jesus could declare the new things.”
Justice is a scary word. It is a word I am not even sure I want to write. Each one of us comes to the word with our own story and thus our own definition. It is the act of being just; according to Webster, “just” means, “acting or being in conformity with what is morally upright or good.”
I am dead in sin. An enemy of the Creator of the heavens and earth; I am the one who tries to usurp His authority. The penalty is at least the dungeon but even more death. That is justice. And how is this justice meted out toward us? Jesus sets us free. Jesus takes our place. He is the Lamb of God. He takes the death penalty. He fulfills Isaiah 42:16:
And I will lead the blind in a way that they do not know, in paths that they have not known. I will guide them. I will turn the darkness before them into light, the rough places into level ground. These are the things I do and I do not forsake them.
Our stories- in essence, our truth- must be submitted to the Truth. Any call of justice I have must spring from the justice that the Father has given. It must spring from the Truth that I deserved death and was spared. That I deserve to be forgotten but was not forsaken. That I was lost but have been led by the hand of God. He is the one who makes things new. He is the one who takes away our sins. He is the one who can be faithful to God’s glory.
This helps me to not just pursue an end to systemic injustice through ultimately temporary means, but to call myself and others to find Christ where everlasting justice is found. We need to work and pursue equity for all people because they are created in God’s image. We need to work to end systems and programs that hinder and harm people. We need to hope and work for an end of oppression in all its manifestations. We should remember that everlasting justice and the desire for justice here on earth is born from our redemption that was paid for by Christ’s- the Lamb of God’s- sacrifice.
Father, thank you for your justice and mercy. Jesus, thank you for taking our place and our penalty and providing a way of salvation. Spirit, thank you for enabling us to see the Father and Son and teaching us to follow as they lead. Remind us that we received a Justice like no other and should pursue justice for those around us. And keep us from taking you off the throne of our heart in pursuit of a cause. Purify our motives and make them worship and devotion toward you. May your peace reign! May your justice prevail! Amen.
Seek a place to pray for those who are in bondage to sin around you. (Maybe it is you who is in bondage.) Pray for God’s justice to come and release them; pray for them to be convicted and find Jesus there ready to take the sin away. Pray for their shame to be removed and joy to set upon their hearts. Pray that they have eyes to see that the Lord is good.
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Lee Hinkle is an American pastor who, with his family of 7, felt God’s call to pack up and plant a church in Fremantle, a town in Perth, Western Australia. Last Summer, the Hinkles left Indianapolis and arrived in Oz to begin their work. You can follow their adventures at hinkledownunder.com.