As we journey with Jesus through the last days of his life in Holy Week, there is the reminder and the remembrance that God is concerned with justice. “Behold my servant, whom I uphold, my chosen, in whom my soul delights; I have put my Spirit upon him; he will bring forth justice to the nations.” Indeed, in the person of Jesus and through his redemptive events there is the ultimate work of justice.
It is possible that when we think of the word “justice” we might immediately imagine something punitive. Justice in this sense is the doling out of judgment to one who has hurt another or transgressed the law. The biblical concept of justice certainly has this connotation, but only secondarily. The primary usage and understanding of justice in the Old Testament is justly providing a victim with a need they have. In other words, it is furnishing the hungry with food, shelter for the homeless, freedom for the enslaved, and the poor with basic necessities. It is to indefatigably work on behalf of another who cannot gain what they need on their own.
So, when God talks of his servant bringing justice he means that he sees the vast needs of humanity across the earth and vows to do something about it. This is why God the Father sent God the Son, in order to establish the basis for justice for all nations and all people. Through the death and resurrection of Jesus our primary and most basic needs for life are met: especially, the grace of forgiveness. And through this great love, God’s forgiven people are to spread both their spiritual and material wealth to those locked in circumstances of injustice. The implications for this are immense and reach across to every area of life, whether it is political, economic, relational, emotional, or spiritual to everyone despite differences of race, ethnicity, gender, even religion. This is why Christians ought to be at the forefront of concern and action for ministries of justice and reconciliation. We are to stand up for the oppressed and those in need because Jesus made it possible for us to do so.
Just God, I praise you for your grace and power working together to bring justice to people. Fill me with your Spirit so that I might point others to the singular work of Jesus on the cross. Open my eyes to see the immense need around me, and lead me to understand how I might help. Thank you for acting justly on my behalf in so many ways. Amen.