An eye for an eye. A tooth for a tooth. Fairness. Justice. Judgment. It was the name of the game, and it makes perfect sense. Even small children have that innate sense of fairness. If little sister gets a chocolate chip cookie, big brother wants a cookie too. It should be fair. If it’s not, someone needs to fix things so that justice will reign once more. In the household of young children, this is when the child will often call, “Mom,” because they need someone to arbitrate, to determine what is fair.
In the “adult world,” we do it too. We see this desire for justice often enough in the hundreds of lawsuits and court cases that rise in every city, town, or district. Justice must be served. We might never end up sitting across the court from someone, but we do it in own minds just as well, don’t we? We assess a situation and render judgment in our own minds. He was wrong. I am right.
Fairness. Justice. Judgment. An eye for an eye.
But who judges those secret thoughts we think? Who listens to every word we speak in anger? Who knows our hearts and souls, our decisions and mistakes, our shortcomings and anger better than we know it ourselves?
God, the righteous and holy one.
With the first act of sin in the Garden of Eden, a rift was cast between humanity and a Holy God who could not abide in the presence of sin.
First, judgment and justice had to be served.
And it was, with the dawn of redeeming grace. With the birth of Jesus, the greatest sacrifice was set in action. The life of a “spotless Lamb” to atone for the sins of humanity.
Redeeming grace. Instead of an eye for an eye, we receive forgiveness. Instead of a tooth for a tooth, we are granted mercy. Instead of an eternity separated from God, we are welcomed into His presence.
This reading is an excerpt of a devotional from Finding Christ in the Carols, by author Ian Christopher, inspired by lyrics from well-known Christmas Carols. Available for only $2.99 on Amazon, Finding Christ in the Carols will help you find moments of personal devotion and reflection during the busy holiday season.