What is justice? This is a question I have most recently been meditating on and thinking through. It is a crucial question that has been affecting many parts of my life as I continue to think through it, and its implications are so serious that at times they had caused me to drop what I had been doing and momentarily wonder in deep, quiet thought. I feel that this cognitive discourse has been very healthy for me, but what has been frustrating is that I can’t seem to conclude my thoughts; I cannot seem to quite deliver an explicit and concise answer. What is more is that it seems that the only way that I can truly find the answer is outside of anything cognitive or rational as I know it. I sense that in the wholeness of being human lies the mystery of something more than ourselves that we cannot fully grasp, especially when considering justice.
There is a fundamental separation between the justice system of the world and the justice system of God. This is obvious to those who have discovered the glory of the divine Creator. But maybe we still don’t quite have an understanding of the fact that we don’t understand. By that I mean that there is man’s justice and then there is God’s justice, and because God’s justice transcends man’s view of justice, we might need to admit that we will never quite fully grasp it. But that does not merit apathy on our part in attempting to accomplish justice. We need justice because there is a universal Sin in all humans, and this universal Sin gives birth to injustice towards other humans. But the problem is that all humans believe in the justice as a result of sins, but not all believe in justice because of the inherent Sin within man. Really, if we did accept that all men are inherently sinful, then we would inflict punishment on each other constantly. But isn’t that what we are condemned to anyways through our actions in separating ourselves from God? When Adam and Eve first sinned, they immediately realized that they were naked. They became self-conscious. This is the epitome of what Sin is, isn’t it? Being self conscious drives us to sin against each other and God, and sinning against each other and God makes us self-conscious. To put another spin on the whole concept, since we are so caught up in the worship of ourselves, we cannot quite grasp the justice that is consequential to our Sin. If we really did, I imagine that we would immediately make our way to the Judge to hand ourselves over to be condemned and sentenced.
Justice is a divine response to the rebellion of the creation from its Creator, but moreover, it is the NATURE of the Creator. God is love and God is just. I guess that it would be fitting to say that God knows a justice that is far beyond our perception, but by pardoning the sinner, he enables him to take part in this divine reality.