Receiving Justice


Too often, power is the enemy of justice.

“Justice” is the cry of those who cannot make their own.

Power calls itself justice. It makes a thriving land a desert and calls it peace.

Power knows how to be rid of a nuisance. It knows how to excommunicate. It knows how to execute.

But Easter stands, will always stand, over against power in order to proclaim that there is a greater Power who cannot be escaped. Easter proclaims that there is a true justice that cannot be bought.

Resurrection says to the tyrants of the earth: you cannot take from me what is always in God’s power to give.

Resurrection faith looks like this:

“You, who are marked out for vengeance, may take our present life, but the king of the universe for whose laws we die will resurrect us again to eternal life.”

When it was demanded of the third brother, he put out his tongue quickly, extended his hands courageously, and stated with dignity, “I have received these limbs from heaven, and I give them up for the sake of God’s laws. But I hope to recover them from God again.”

When the end was approaching, the fourth brother said, “Death at the hands of humans is preferable, since we look forward to the hope that God gives of being raised by him. But for you there will be no resurrection to life.”

The boys’ mother encouraged them, saying, “I don’t know how you grew in my womb, nor did I grant the breath of life to you or arrange what makes you who you are. For this reason, the creator of the world—who brought about the beginning of humanity and searched out the origin of all things—will again mercifully give you both spirit and life, since you disregard yourselves because of his laws.”

The last brother said to the king, “Just like my brothers, I give up both body and life for the ancestral laws. I call upon God to be merciful to the nation without delay, and to make you confess, after you suffer trials and diseases, that only he is God. Also I hope through me and my brothers to stop the anger of the almighty, who is justly punishing our entire nation.” (2 Maccabees 7, CEB [modified])

Resurrection means that justice matters.

Those who hunger and thirst will be filled with food and drink.

Those who surrender their hands and tongues will receive them back again.

The life-taking power of the tyrant, the love-shunning power of the zealot, cannot hinder the God of power and love.

The Gospel of Jesus Christ puts on display the previously hidden justice of God–from Christ’s faithfulness unto the faithfulness of God’s people. Just as it is written: the Righteous One will live because of His faithfulness.

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