The Derek Chauvin case has prompted many to think about what justice really means.
Is it justice for a victim’s family to be awarded $27 million? Should it be more or less? Will some number of years in prison mean that justice has been served? Or what about situations in which one person has intentionally murdered several people? And on another level, if Adolf Hitler had not taken his own life, what would justice mean in that situation? Would solitary confinement or another kind of torture, or even the death penalty, mean justice was accomplished?
The struggle to satisfactorily answer these questions illustrates that in most cases, it is impossible for any human to appropriately determine when or how justice is served.
Obviously, the governing powers should exercise what is deemed to be most fair. But as humbling as it might be, we have to concede that ultimate justice is in the hands of our omniscient creator whose attributes include perfect justice and perfect love. Acknowledging, as Abraham did (Genesis 18:25), “will not the judge of all the earth do what is right” relieves victims from holding a grudge.
The following quote from John Piper is both insightful and encouraging: “There is justice. All things will be set right. Either your adversary will pay his debt in hell. Or he will repent, and trust Christ, so that his debt was paid on the cross.” Saint Paul urges us to consider “both the kindness and the severity of God” (Romans 11:22).