Way back on July 20, 2012, just moments after midnight, James Holmes walked into a movie theater in Aurora, Colorado armed to the teeth with the only goal being that he would kill people. After killing 12 and injuring 70 others his gun jammed and he walked out of the theater and surrendered to police.
Just yesterday our court system was able to close an attempt at human justice for such a wicked and evil event. To be honest it leaves a bit to be desired. Since the jury could not come to a unanimous decision regarding the death penalty the judge issued 12 life sentences without parole; one year for each life he had taken. Further, the judge issued an additional 3,318 years for the other attempted murders in that same horrific event.
Saying that this “justice” leaves much to be desired is an understatement at best. This man who caused so much devastation will, if he lives another 60 years, serve only 1.5% of his sentence . . .
Albert Mohler in his daily podcast, “The Briefing,” pointed to the longing in the heart of every human being for justice. And this news story highlights that all of us have within a sense that evil and wicked actions require consequences. The judge, in issuing such an extensive and unrealistic sentence, is declaring openly the complete failure of humanity to rightly judge itself.
Within our hearts is the deep seated knowledge that we need a measure outside of ourselves to set the record straight. We need a justice that extends beyond this single life.
God as the divine judge does indeed issue extensive punishment to those who refuse to accept Him as their Creator, King, and Savior. If this human judge had his way, James Holmes would live approximately 3,822 more years in confinement. And yet that is a drop in the bucket compared to the indication in Scripture that hell is real and eternal.
Reflecting on the demand for justice, and the depravity of my own heart, leads me to rejoice that my sins have been forgiven and covered by the Son of God. My sentence was eternal death, and the eternal one died. My sentence was separation from God, and He felt forsaken by His Father. My sentence was to be judged under the wrath of the eternal judge, and Jesus was crushed for my iniquities!
Our attempts to judge here on earth only ever truly flow from the reality that we were made in the image of a judge. But that divine judge has made a way for our sentence to be covered. Praise God for the grace that is available through the Lamb of God! Come to HIM and ask Him to be your Savior and King today. Justice is on the way . . .