Humanity has often lost sight of a possible Savior. They see no opportunity to be released from their personal anger. They perceive no option to be delivered from the Laws of Death that were set into motion by every unjust assault. They feel no desire to discontinue the momentum of their own vengeance against others. Hurt people really do hurt people. We not only brandish swords, but we have stored up arrows and daggers and armor and shields. They are kept available in our thoughts and emotions to be displayed in our words and actions when we are convinced that anyone is threatening our survival. If you bruise me, you also will bleed. The atmospheric message of the world is “kill or be killed”.
But the message of the cross is “save and be saved”. A broken man let us vent on His body all of our anger against God and Man. “Then Jesus told his disciples, ‘If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it,” Matthew 16:24-25.
Everything stops here. Justice has been served. The human race didn’t know how to get it. So Jesus did. He laid aside all of His personal quests for justice to bring it about for God and man. All of our lives were demanded of someone, and certainly of God, so He gave His own to meet the demand. Our debt was paid. And so was the debt of your abuser, your accuser, your human adversary. Their debt was paid too.
The Written Law was brought to completion in Christ. Fingers were not needed anymore. No one stood accused. All were acquitted. There was no need to point out how deadly we are, we proved it at the cross. From now on, Christ would work internally. From the inside a seed of Divine Life would grow. The Law of Life would be replanted in the human conscience. Its perfect boundaries would be congruent with its growth. We would inwardly experience the work of justice and be brought back to Eternal Life and glory. This was for all men, everywhere. No exceptions.
The work has been completed. All quests for justice stop. We lay down our sword, make a full turn in the opposite direction, and pick up a cross. Reborn, spiritual, new creation believers will no longer fight to survive and secure personal justice… .they will follow Christ in fighting for the survival and security of God’s justice and the justice of their neighbors on planet earth. They will aid God in His cause of reconciliation. They will help others lay down their sword. They will absorb the angry words and cries for justice. They will be afflicted by humanities dissatisfaction with God. But they will also embrace a vision of humanity seeing, hearing an knowing the Father again. Out of their affliction, they will witness the seeds of new Life. These Image-Bearers will be Cross-Bearers in a war-torn world. “…whoever loses his life for my sake will find it,” Mark 16:25.