There are many things that determine the outcome of a court hearing. Things like what are you charged with, how good is your lawyer, is this a repeat offense, or even what the mood of the judge may be. Do you have money to pay a bail fee and do you have anyone to vouch for you.
I often hear complaints and comparisons. The idea that someone with a greater crime received a lighter sentence than mine. We cry injustice because the sentence doesn’t match the crime. I would like to share a story with you about the greatest injustice of all time. It’s a true story about a woman who received a death sentence from what we would consider petty theft.
To begin with this woman was beautiful and she had it all, the looks, the perfect husband, the most beautiful home and gardens that could be found anywhere. The woman was a believer. She wasn’t some immoral heathen but a woman with a relationship with God, however she had one flaw. She wasn’t content with everything she had. How can you not be content with perfection? She was not the one in control, God was. So, to show Him that He could not control her, she made one bad choice. She stole an apple. So whats the big deal? She disobeyed a rule, and at the time she thought it was a stupid rule.
The woman knew there would be consequences for her choice but she could not fathom how bad those consequences would end up being. Her father just so happened to be the Judge. She had never experienced his discipline for she had never disobeyed before. He had given her everything with one exception, that apple. He had even warned her of the consequences, DEATH. Well, she had never experienced death and perhaps never had a full understanding of it. Actually, she never believed He would follow through. She never trusted her father or His love for her and that was at the root of her issues. She couldn’t understand that she was subject to Him. She believed she was His equal and if He made rules so could she. However, it didn’t turn out so well
After she bit into that forbidden fruit, she realized what she had done. She had disobeyed. What she did, brought a curse upon everything good. Because man was created from the earth, the earth became cursed. She realizes in some way she is no longer perfect and she tries to cover herself, to hide from what she did, but the garment could not protect her from the elements of the now cursed earth. Her father called to her. He knew what she had done but His love and mercy prevented Him from just striking her down immediately. He asks her what she did and she uses the excuse that she was deceived. He was heartbroken. How could He carry out this punishment upon his own child, the one He had created?
Because He is just, he could not relent on the judgment of the crime. The sentence for the crime had already been established. The wages of sin is death. Since she did not conceive what that meant, her father took one of the animals, one of her pets for she loved them all, and He explained to her that the garment she made could not hide her shame nor could it protect her from thing that would come as a result of her disobedience. She had to watch as Her father slaughtered the animal. She watched the blood drain from the body and the life fade away. He then took the fur, and covered her. A constant reminder that she could not cover herself or what she did, that could only be done by her loving father.
She then had to move out of her perfect beautiful environment and settle in the outskirts where she would now have to work hard for everything she had including food. She would no longer take walks with her dad even though He would come to her whenever she called, the relationship became different.
Then she experienced an excruciating pain when she delivered her son. She had never experienced pain before. The pain would not take her life however, and she would soon forget the pain when she saw she had given birth to a child. She then experienced the parent/child love. The love like her father had always given to her. Unconditional love. But, her son grew and began to show signs of rebellion, signs of her own characteristics of selfishness and self-reliance. That same attitude that says You are not the boss of me and I will be my own God. This strong-willed son had a brother. A sweet and much more obedient though not perfect brother. One day the rebellious son killed his brother in a fit of jealous rage.
She had experienced heartache when the animal was killed but this was far greater. The life of her own son, and she understood this was her fault. She had allowed sin to enter into the world when she took that apple. These were just a few of the consequences from her one bad decision. She somehow knew that the clothes she wore covered her guilt and her shame but the blood of an animal would never suffice for the sin of a person. The only true justice would come when another human died. She began to understand death. She began to watch her body grow old and weak and she knew she would one day die. She would go back to the ground from which she was taken, but the justice had not been served. She understood that she was guilty of the crime and that nothing she could do would ever suffice or erase what she did. She could not pay for her crime because she was guilty, and deserved it all. Her Father knew that too. There was only one thing that could be done. He would take on flesh, live a perfect life with no sin, and He would pay the penalty. He would die the death she deserved. The innocent would die for the guilty.
And so, He did. But, to die was only one part of the story. He created us to have a relationship with us. The father/child relationship. A relationship that includes love and laughter, joy and contentment. He created us to walk in the garden with and talk about “stuff”, and if He just died that would do away with sin and humanity. But, if he defeats death by coming back to life after the sin and disobedience has been dealt with, we get to start over. Perfection restored and sin abolished, and that is what happened.
For God so loved the world that He gave his only begotten son that whosoever believeth in him shall not perish but have everlasting life.
So, next time you hear a story of how the sentences doesn’t seem to match the crime. Think about Eve. We have all sinned, and we all deserve death. No matter what happens to us on this earth, we all get better than we deserve, and in the end, every believer is promised eternal life in a world that has been restored to its perfect existence. If you are not a believer, in the end, you will get what you deserve.