Let Justice Flow

“Then Annas sent him bound to Caiaphas the High Priest.”

(John 18:24)

 

We have already discussed the relationship between Annas and Caiaphas as to how both are referred to as the High Priest and how this short exchange formed a kind of initial interview in the shadows of the evening prior to the official trial by Caiaphas. Most likely, it was Annas who had the pull to bring out the Temple Guard to make this arrest and it is most likely that Annas wanted to satisfy his own curiosity in this case. The interview does not produce much other than indignation on the part of Jesus and the interview is cut short and Jesus is sent to Caiaphas for the trial.

It is interesting that probably one of the most significant activities that God calls his people to perform is the one thing that is entirely devoid of this evening. God calls us to pursue justice (Genesis 18:19; Exodus 23:6; Deuteronomy 16:19; Micah 6:8, etc…). Justice is the ensuring that people are treated with righteousness according to God’s will. It is the heart behind the commandment in Leviticus 19:18 that we are to love our neighbor as ourselves. Justice means that truth is upheld and wickedness is exposed for what it is — that righteous activities are rewarded and sin is punished. And this evening, no justice takes place.

Then again, in the divine plan, were this evening about justice in its purest sense, we would all be condemned. Jesus endures the injustice of men here so that he may bear the justice of God on the cross on behalf of unjust men — that means you and me. Folks, that simple reality ought to stagger us and drive us to our knees in repentance, thanksgiving, and praise. How interesting it is that God chooses to use such ways to show us such grace.

There is something else that follows that needs to be before our eyes, and that is the change that this grace of God works on us as we live our our life in this unjust world. Will we seek justice? Will we seek to act with grace to those who act unjustly toward us? Will we seek to bring justice to the lives of those who cannot speak for themselves? Millions of babies have been aborted in America and the church has often remained quite silent. Will you be a voice for those babies who are being treated so unjustly? The poor and homeless are often shunned by the church as not fitting into “the mold” that the church is looking for and their voices are often marginalized by city governments that don’t really want to wrestle with the question of abject poverty. Will you be a voice for those who society has sought to silence? Mental Illness is widespread in our culture but few seem to want to address it and learn how to minister to those in our midst that need such care. Again, will you be their voice and advocate? Children with severe disabilities are often denied the kinds of therapy that are needed to help them live a productive life and their families are worn thin with the battles against the system. Will you be their advocate? Justice demands that we be the voice for those who cannot speak for themselves and to ensure that righteousness is advanced and the wicked are punished. And God commands of us that we work justice. Will you be obedient to that command, or will you, like Annas, use Jesus to satisfy your own curiosity and allow justice to be perverted to preserve your own status, comfort, and influence?

“Let justice flow out like waters and righteousness like an ever-flowing torrent.”

(Amos 5:24)

 

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