Justice, Mercy, and Grace
By T.M. Moore - Posted at The Fellowship of Ailbe:
We need them all, and they're all there for us in Jesus.
“Blessed are the merciful,
For they shall obtain mercy.”
- Matthew 5.7
If only you shape your own path and build up peace, you shall see no end to mercy.
- The Advice of Addaon, Early Welsh
Justice, mercy, grace: three words we use a good deal in the Christian community, each of which has a distinct meaning and impact.
Yet none of which do we understand as well as we should.
Justice can be summarized as getting what you deserve. On the one hand, because we are the image-bearers of God, all humans deserve respect, honor, love, encouragement, and so forth. On the other hand, because we are sinners, we deserve only wrath and judgment from our sovereign and holy God. These are the proper desserts of those who walk in rebellion against Him, denying that He is their Creator, ignoring His Law, or rationalizing it out of their Christian lives.
Justice is what we deserve, and, for both aspects of justice, Jesus fulfills what we are due. He restores the image of God in us, and He absorbs the wrath we deserve, so that we can know and flourish within the justice of God, without fear.