On: August 19, 2015 | By: SWLadmin | Under: Blog | Comments: Comments are off
But the whole crowd shouted, “Away with this man! Release Barabbas to us!” (Barabbas had been thrown into prison for an insurrection in the city, and for murder.) Wanting to release Jesus, Pilate appealed to them again. But they kept shouting, “Crucify him! Crucify him!” Luke 23:18-21
Someone known well to my wife and I, who will remain anonymous, recently found themselves in a serious scrape. It was entirely of their own doing and, if justice had been done, their career would have been in jeopardy. But, we were riled by the fact that, beneath the surface, the person was in an impossible situation and had tried to do the right thing. (Sorry to be so vague, but trust me – it was a tight corner.) We prayed that justice would not be done (?!). After some coming and going, and not inconsiderable worry for all concerned, the evidence collapsed and the case was thrown out. We felt that our prayer had been answered. But what was God up to, overturning justice?!
Now, Jesus was clearly on the receiving end of an historic injustice; yet God permitted it. We know it was a necessary part of His plan for the salvation of mankind, but does that make it acceptable? How can He allow such bad stuff to happen to such good people?
But what, then, of Barabbas? He was a terrorist, for goodness sake. And he got off scot free. How can God allow such bad people to get away with murder (literally)! Did God get things muddled here? Or did He have a plan, as well, for this man’s life – that gave added meaning to this colossal reversal of justice?
We’re not told whether Barabbas slunk off into the shadows to extend his murderous trail, or if he turned a new leaf and opened a rehab centre for repentant insurrectionist! God, though, through the dubious mechanism of a fickle crowd, gave him the opportunity to do an about turn.
God allowed a double injustice, to open up the possibility of healing; in an individual’s life, and for the whole of mankind.
It triggers the thought that God permits injustice to give grace space. I’m glad it’s Him that has to sort out how that one works, not me.
Father God, it takes as much faith to accept that You know what You are doing in allowing all the apparent injustice in the world, as it does to believe in You in the first place. Help me believe and forgive me when I doubt Your wisdom. Amen