‘For God presented Jesus as the sacrifice for sin. People are made right with God when they believe that Jesus sacrificed his life, shedding his blood………God did this to demonstrate his righteousness, for he himself is fair and just and he declares sinners to be right in his sight when they believe in Jesus.’ Romans 3 v 25a – 26b.
Recite this out loud:
Is there someone out there
Who could pay the victims’ cost forever?
So that all’s not lost forever;
Who could stand for justice, giving
To that empty word a meaning,
Yet forgiving an oppressor, cleaning
Off their slate once earthly dues are paid
And dealing with their conscience,
Clearing this without demeaning
All the victims’ dignity.
For, if this is off the cards
There is no final hope for victims
Or oppressors or, with due regards
To our cold apathy, no hope for us,
When, to a victim we say ‘no.’
In fact, the summing up will show,
Amongst the victims and oppressors,
Over time we’ve all been both.
How could that someone have the right
To meet the needs of justice on behalf
Of all the victims, solve their plight?
Who could play the other’s part?
Only one who was the guard
Of justice and who was its heart.
So when, for justice we cry out,
It’s just an echo of his thunderous shout.
How then, could he break the yoke
Of victims’ bitterness and grief,
Oppressors’ guilt and free them both?
To make it real, not just symbolic make believe,
All victims’ pains would be his pain;
And more– his bearing it would be
Enough to murder our disdain.
He’d have to love each victim more
Than any victims loved themselves.
A mother’s bond with those she bore,
To this, a shadow, nothing more.
And we as victims and oppressors both
Would need that love held out to all.
Once owned up to their helplessness
The cruellest hands which then would grope
Would still be offered mercy, given hope
But for justice to be real,
(Not like some dad, so meek and mild
He’s helpless, impotent
Before a wilful, tyrant child),
The hands that closed against the offer
Would be cast aside forever,
Outside where, unchained –that’s never
Checked, restrained or changed by love,
Oppressor feeds upon oppressor.
For his head to be held high
Before all victims, and satisfy
The price of justice, that someone
Would have to be a victim and as one,
Both live and die.
But die unjustly as a victim, plain;
With no oppressor’s part to play,
So for himself, no price to pay,
So paying that due from us all.
For right to win out over wrong
And love prove strongest of the strong
And hope become a guarantee,
That someone would have to be
The one who took on death
Whose steel unbending
He could bend and break,
To offer all, new life unending.
Who could carry this eternal can?
Only one who is both perfect God
And lived as perfect man.
Then the measure of my worth would be
His likeness in, and love for me.
And when through mists I dimly see
What He intended me to be,
Myself compared now with that treasure
Shows my guilt was beyond measure,
As was all he did for me
To end that guilt and set me free.