Jussie Smollett has been making headlines. In January the Empire actor said he was the victim of a hate crime. In February two men came forward and said Smollett paid them to stage the attack. Not long after that, Smollett was arrested for staging the hoax with prosecutors saying he arranged the whole thing to advance his career. In March all the charges against Smollett were dropped.
Smollett maintains his innocence. The mayor criticizes the decision. The Chicago police are ordering him to pay back the city for the money spent on the investigation. The media storm rages.
I believe there is far more to the story than we will ever find out, but what seems to make most people upset is the sense that justice didn’t really prevail.
After all, we are all wired to believe in justice. No one wants to pay for a movie where the bad guy gets away and the good guy gets in trouble. We don’t like when celebrities cheat to get their kids into college. We really can’t stand it when—even with replay—the NFL referees get the call wrong.
For people who believe in God, there’s extra incentive to fight for justice. Throughout the Bible, God tells us he cares deeply about the topic.
“For the LORD is righteous, he loves justice; the upright will see his face” (Psalm 11:7).
“Do not pervert justice; do not show partiality to the poor or favoritism to the great, but judge your neighbor fairly” (Leviticus 19:15).
“The righteous care about justice for the poor, but the wicked have no such concern” (Proverbs 29:7).
“Acquitting the guilty and condemning the innocent—the LORD detests them both” (Proverbs 17:15).
You know what, though? As much as I know that injustice is absolutely wrong, I can’t get too arrogant about it because I know I’ve benefited from injustice. That’s what the time leading up to Easter is all about. Jesus was guilty of absolutely nothing, yet he took my punishment in my place. I am absolutely guilty of breaking God’s laws, yet all the charges against me have been dropped.
It might not make sense, but when Jesus said, “It is finished,” justice was served. And Jesus saw this moment of injustice as a good thing. After all, “For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God” (Hebrews 12:2).
So while we absolutely continue to fight for justice on this earth, we know that—for those who believe in Jesus—eternal justice has already prevailed.
Linda Buxa is a writer and editor who is humbled by the injustice that Jesus suffered.
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