Just and Unjust Governments — Mark 15

When one set of laws with appropriate punishments are administered differently to different people or groups of people, we naturally and reasonably say that government or that judge or that prosecutor is unjust. When Pilate knew that Jesus had done nothing evil; yet decided to satisfy influential religious leaders by freeing a murderer and crucifying an innocent man, Pilate was unjust. Unhappily, many “Pilates” can be found in many governments at every level of their legal systems today.

For the last several years in some countries, we have watched governments become increasingly unjust. Those with political power, media power, special influence, or wealth are not charged with crimes that most of us know we would go to prison for committing—an obvious characteristic of an unjust government, which increasingly loses the respect of its citizens or subjects.

In a just government, people know there is equal justice under the law. Written across the front of the Supreme Court Building in the United States are the words: “Equal Justice Under Law.” When this principle is followed in a country’s legal system by law enforcement, prosecutors, and judges; then, citizens or subjects know that every lawbreaker will be punished equally according to the law for their crimes no matter what their status, and that government’s laws and law enforcement are respected. A politician or not, a soldier or not, a favored politician or not, a favorite of the media or not, rich or poor or middleclass, privileged or not—all receive the same treatment under the law. Today, many people take for granted that their government’s legal system shows favoritism to the privileged few, and that government increasingly loses respect.

Unhappily, the only just government that I know of today is God’s just government; therefore, we can respect God’s government and God the King. Let’s look at what that means. Consider the fact that in the Kingdom of God “The wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 6:23). According to God’s law, everyone who has sinned will receive the wages of sin. Everyone will receive “equal justice under law.” Eventually, everyone’s body will die unless they are alive when Jesus Christ returns.

God honored and upheld His law when Jesus Christ, the Son of God, perfectly obeyed God’s law. God also honored and upheld His law when His only Son freely chose to die a sacrificial death in the place of the punishment all sinners deserve so God could justly and mercifully forgive all who would believe in Jesus as their Lord and Savior. Forgiveness and eternal life are undeserved gifts of God to us in Christ Jesus our Lord, but they came at the price of Jesus’ death on the cross and His resurrection to uphold God’s just laws and empower His followers to love and obey God.

Unlike many human governments, God shows no partiality (Acts 10:34). God’s government is the only government where the Son of the King, the Judge, and the Prosecutor, the Son of God himself, dies in the place of rebels (you and me) involved in insurrection (as sinners) against God’s government so God could justly and mercifully forgive sinners (us) and win their (our) love and respect.

In God's government, the followers of Jesus Christ want to obey God’s laws, laws of love, because they love and appreciate God and all God has done for them through His Son. Without showing any favoritism or partiality, God offers the free gift of salvation to anyone who will trust in Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior; therefore, the Church shares that Good News of Jesus’ gift to everyone around the world today, and God and God's government are increasingly honored and respected.

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Teaching the Truth in Love for the Love of God’s Word and His people,
L.G.

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