The Just Judge

January 6, 2022

“When they hurled their insults at Him, He did not retaliate; when He suffered, He made no threats. Instead, He entrusted Himself to Him who judges justly.” 1 Peter 2:23

Did you know that the only time Jesus asked His Father to forgive sinners was when He was being crucified and said, in Luke 23:34, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing?” On every other occasion, Jesus would forgive sinners Himself, but on the cross He asked His Father to forgive them. Why did He do that?

To understand, it helps to look at another occasion when Jesus healed a paralytic man (Luke 5:17-39). Not only did Jesus heal this man’s physical infirmity, however, He also forgave the man’s sins. The Pharisees complained, saying, “Only God can forgive sins.” And they were right…God is the only One who can forgive sins. Jesus Christ was God, so why didn’t He forgive the sins of His crucifiers?

On the cross, Jesus was not dying as God, because God cannot die. On the cross, He was dying as one of us. Yet He still wanted the only One who can forgive to forgive those who were hurting Him. When the disciple Peter looked back on the crucifixion, he remembered how Christ did not retaliate against His accusers. Peter remembered Jesus’ silence – and it spoke volumes. Jesus entrusted Himself to God.

We must learn to follow Jesus’ example. If you can trust God with your heart, you can trust Him with your hurt. Heartache and hurts should never become walls that separate us from God; they should instead be bridges that bring us closer to Him. When others turn their backs on you, turn your eyes towards God. Entrust yourself to Him. He is the only Just Judge. Then you will be free to offer unmerited forgiveness to those who have hurt you.

God, help me to entrust myself to you when I am hurt or wronged. Help me to offer grace rather than retaliation. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Topics: Judgment

Bible Reference

When he was reviled, he did not revile in return; when he suffered, he did not threaten, but continued entrusting himself to him who judges justly.
And Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.” And they cast lots to divide his garments.
On one of those days, as he was teaching, Pharisees and teachers of the law were sitting there, who had come from every village of Galilee and Judea and from Jerusalem. And the power of the Lord was with him to heal.
And behold, some men were bringing on a bed a man who was paralyzed, and they were seeking to bring him in and lay him before Jesus,
but finding no way to bring him in, because of the crowd, they went up on the roof and let him down with his bed through the tiles into the midst before Jesus.
And when he saw their faith, he said, “Man, your sins are forgiven you.”
And the scribes and the Pharisees began to question, saying, “Who is this who speaks blasphemies? Who can forgive sins but God alone?”
When Jesus perceived their thoughts, he answered them, “Why do you question in your hearts?
Which is easier, to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven you,’or to say, ‘Rise and walk’?
But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins”—he said to the man who was paralyzed—“I say to you, rise, pick up your bed and go home.”
And immediately he rose up before them and picked up what he had been lying on and went home, glorifying God.
And amazement seized them all, and they glorified God and were filled with awe, saying, “We have seen extraordinary things today.”
After this he went out and saw a tax collector named Levi, sitting at the tax booth. And he said to him, “Follow me.”
And leaving everything, he rose and followed him.
And Levi made him a great feast in his house, and there was a large company of tax collectors and others reclining at table with them.
And the Pharisees and their scribes grumbled at his disciples, saying, “Why do you eat and drink with tax collectors and sinners?”
And Jesus answered them, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick.
I have not come to call the righteous but sinners to repentance.”
And they said to him, “The disciples of John fast often and offer prayers, and so do the disciples of the Pharisees, but yours eat and drink.”
And Jesus said to them, “Can you make wedding guests fast while the bridegroom is with them?
The days will come when the bridegroom is taken away from them, and then they will fast in those days.”
He also told them a parable: “No one tears a piece from a new garment and puts it on an old garment. If he does, he will tear the new, and the piece from the new will not match the old.
And no one puts new wine into old wineskins. If he does, the new wine will burst the skins and it will be spilled, and the skins will be destroyed.
But new wine must be put into fresh wineskins.
And no one after drinking old wine desires new, for he says, ‘The old is good.’ ”