Justice Mercy Humilitree

7:43 AM

This is a drawing I did last year...it was a shirt design for a youth rally of some sort. 
I didn't attend the event, but I know it was all about rallying the youths...and justice, mercy, and humility. I remember being a little fuzzy on the details as I was drawing it - I just had these three words to work with. So naturally, I went to my default drawing subject and drew a tree. I liked the end result, with the words coming out of the roots. It makes me want to draw more things coming out of tree roots. Like snakes, or spaghetti. Or legs. Or octopus tentacles. Really, the possibilities are endless.

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  1. God is love. God is both just and merciful. Both justice and mercy are rooted in love.

    There is a divine opposition of selflessness (John 15:13) and selfishness (Proverbs 16:18), and correction of the latter requires a love that is both just and merciful. Understand the underlying ontology of this opposition, and you can move beyond the words, beyond the symbols used to abbreviate this timeless truth across the ages, and translate words and symbols into everyday actions.

    God is perfectly just, demanding payment in blood for sin, as sin is separation from love, and a return to wholeness requires an act of sacrifice. Yet God is perfectly compassionate, having sacrificed His own blood in his Son on the cross, offering His own blood as payment for your sin if you will believe in Jesus, understand what His self-sacrifice on the cross meant, proclaim His holiness, ask for forgiveness, and repent of your sins. This transformation is not merely words and symbols, not a forumla or methodology. It is a message encoded in a way you can receive to transform you.

    While no one is exempt from justice, mercy is offered to all. We are commanded to love even our enemies. (Matthew 5:43-48). Sure, God’s actions may seem more just or merciful to you or me depending on what we are considering and how we each see things. Indeed certain works are attributed to justice, and certain others to mercy, because in some justice appears more forcibly and in others mercy. But in reality even punishment involves both virtues.

    It is through the divine combination of justice and love that redemption is possible. Redemption is the ultimate revelation of God’s holiness, from which comes the fullness of justice and love. Absolute justice, even a superabundance of justice is expressed for our sins which are compensated for by Christ’s sacrifice, an act that was a perfect consolidation or embodiment (if not abbreviation) of the message regarding how to live in more perfect harmony.


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