Today’s world is full of disputes, large and small, only a few of which get into the newspapers. Nations, ethnic groups, political factions, tribes and economic alliances struggle for supremacy. Each can tell stories of the atrocities committed by their opponents. Each one claims that they therefore have the right to the moral high ground, and must be allowed redress, revenge, satisfaction. But, as anyone who has studied the complicated history of the Middle East, Rwanda or Northern Ireland will know, it is simply impossible to give an account of the conflict in which one side is responsible for all the evil and the other side is a completely innocent victim.
The only way forward is the one we all find the hardest at every level: repentance and forgiveness. The resolute application of the gospel, under the Lordship of the risen Jesus, is the only way forward towards the creation of new hope and possibilities.
~N.T. Wright, from Luke for Everyone
There’s a cry for justice everywhere today. Open the newspaper or turn on the news, embittered people protest their condition and rage for change. It all misses the truth by a mile. No one wants justice. Justice is getting what you deserve and nobody wants that.
What we want is mercy.
The death of Christ on the cross was the fulfillment of justice, but it was the love of God that raised Him up. The grave has been conquered and this broken world no longer holds the final verdict. The message of Luke goes on and it’s the same today as the angels proclaimed at His birth.
Peace is now possible.
Luke 24: 36-49
While they were still talking about this, Jesus himself stood among them and said to them, “Peace be with you.” They were startled and frightened, thinking they saw a ghost. He said to them, “Why are you troubled, and why do doubts rise in your minds? Look at my hands and my feet. It is I myself! Touch me and see; a ghost does not have flesh and bones, as you see I have.” When he had said this, he showed them his hands and feet. And while they still did not believe it because of joy and amazement, he asked them, “Do you have anything here to eat?” They gave him a piece of broiled fish, and he took it and ate it in their presence. He said to them, “This is what I told you while I was still with you: Everything must be fulfilled that is written about me in the Law of Moses, the Prophets and the Psalms.” Then he opened their minds so they could understand the Scriptures. He told them, “This is what is written: The Messiah will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day, and repentance for the forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. You are witnesses of these things. I am going to send you what my Father has promised; but stay in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high.”