"Better Than Justice"
February 3, 2015
Do not remember against us our former iniquities; let Your compassion come speedily to meet us, for we are brought very low. Help us, O God of our salvation, for the glory of Your Name; deliver us, and atone for our sins, for Your Name's sake! Psalm 79:8-9
I've always thought Scrooge overreacted a bit when, in the 1938 movie, A Christmas Carol, he fired his clerk, Bob Cratchit, for accidentally knocking off his hat with a snowball.
That being said, Scrooge comes across as all sweetness and light when he's compared to 22-year-old Jerquan Dickson of York, Pennsylvania.
Here's the story: Dickson was driving his car when a bunch of teenage boys showed up carrying snowballs. They let fly at his vehicle and apparently some clobbered the vehicle pretty good. Well, Dickson, understandably, was upset and he stopped his car and ran down an alley chasing after the young scallywags.
Dickson caught up with them and pulled his handgun and opened fire.
Now this is where there is some conflict in the stories. Dickson says he shot his pistol a number of times into the snow. The teens say Dickson shot at them. So, who can we believe? The police say they recovered six shell casings, but that doesn't help us decide who is telling the truth, does it?
I guess the best evidence as to what really happened came from the fact that one of the teenaged boys was taken to the hospital where he was treated for several gunshot wounds. None of the wounds was life-threatening, but they were serious enough to have Dickson arrested and charged with two counts of felony aggravated assault and recklessly endangering another.
If all is as has been reported, it would seem that Dickson's punishment against the boy's snowball throwing is a bit harsh for the crime committed.
This is a considerable contrast to what the Lord does toward sinful humankind.
Now I would never say that the Lord is not going to punish sin. He will. God is a just God, and our transgressions will be punished completely, thoroughly and eternally. On our own there is nothing we can do to fix things or make some kind of amends.
Thankfully, we are not on our own.
Along with being just, the Lord is also merciful. In compassion He looked upon us and devised a manner by which we might be forgiven. To that end He sent His Son who lived a perfect life for us, who resisted temptation for us, and who carried our sins to the cross and died for us.
Three days later, in His wonderful resurrection, Jesus showed that His work had been completed, and all who believe on Him would be forgiven and granted eternal life.
In Jesus justice had been served; the penalty had been paid, and an eternal reprieve was granted to all who would believe.
THE PRAYER: Dear Heavenly Father, I am thankful Your Son was willing to take the punishment for my sin. May I do my best to glorify Him by amending my sinful life and living as one of Your dear children. In Jesus' Name. Amen.
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries