by Joseph Franks
Jesus came to earth to be the “Friend of Sinners,” and he was constantly surrounded by such despicable folk. This was especially true during the final hours of his life.
- Self-serving, manipulative, and murderous priests were ministering in his Temple.
- Wicked kings, elders, judges, and governmental leaders abused the positions God had granted them.
- Foolish religious worshipers panted for the release of a convict while calling for the crucifixion of their rabbi.
- Sadistic and disinterested pagans played cruel games with Jesus’ head, body and mind.
- Mocking thieves, in surround sound, added to his misery in his final hours.
- Eleven followers, after arguing about their greatness and faithfulness, proved to be disbelieving and doubting disciples.
And in the presence of such an unrighteous congregation, Jesus suffered. He could have come down from the cross and fairly judged such men and women, but he did not do so. Why?
- Christ was condemned at the judgment seat so that many self-serving, manipulative, and murderous priests might not be condemned at the Judgment Seat.
- Christ offered no defense before the earthly judges so that wicked kings, elders, judges, and governmental leaders might have a winning defense before the Holy Judge.
- Christ was hanged naked so that foolish religious worshipers might be granted pristine, bleached-white robes of righteousness.
- Christ suffered pain so that sadistic and disinterested pagans might find paradise and receive crowns of gold.
- Christ took the cursed condemnation so that mocking thieves might hear words of blessed commendation and add their voices to the heavenly choir.
- Christ died that his disbelieving and doubting disciples might have an ever-increasing faith.
Therefore, in this odd transaction, fairness was kicked to the curb. Never had a righteous man received such unfair treatment from man and God. Jesus Christ received not that which he deserved.
Additionally, never had a wicked folk received such unfairness. Sordid sinners received not that which they deserved.
And this is the simple Gospel. Those who demand equitable fairness will spend their days receiving such in the place of eternal condemnation. Contrarily, those who say, “Forget Fairness” will receive mercy and grace from the Son of God who took their sins upon his shoulders, placed his righteousness upon their account. and “forgot fairness” for his friends.
Therefore my sinful brothers and sisters, what do we want from the Judge? Will we really demand fairness?
And secondly, how will we respond today towards those who have harmed us and deserve harsh retribution? Will we demand justice? Will we demand fairness? Or will we turn the other cheek and offer them a cloak they do not deserve? Let us remember how the Lord taught his disciples to pray, “Forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.” Bottom line, because God is gloriously unfair to us, we are to respond by being gloriously unfair to others. The undeserved grace we receive from God is to be liberally passed about. Friends, there is a real sense in which fairness is over-rated. Quite often, fairness should be forgotten.