My wife and I are walking the main street of Canandaigua, NY, having dropped off our daughter for a summer of research in Geneva. This gives us a good reason to explore, which is one of our favorite things -- noticing and commenting as we go. And as we reach the end of the blocks of stores and restaurants, a large building looms ahead, glimpsed through the trees.
Atop the dome is a gilded figure. We speculate as to who it might be. A glorified Mary, perhaps?
As soon as we see that the building is a courthouse, we know her identity. Lady Justice. Holding her scales -- though in this shot, the one bowl looks like a face covering that has slipped down. Justice unmasked! But still blindfolded.
On the drive up here, I meditated on the various roles and descriptions of Jesus I have been learning. So, looking at this personification of justice, I immediately think of how Jesus rules in righteousness:
Of the greatness of his government and peace
there will be no end.
He will reign on David’s throne
and over his kingdom,
establishing and upholding it
with justice and righteousness
from that time on and forever. (Isaiah 9:7)
His rule sets the gold standard for justice that is based on righteousness. It is constant, firm and eternal.
Contrast that to our own attempts. We are quick to name those who we deem need punishment, seeing the failings of others in far more clarity than we see our own. Try as we might, like Lady Justice, to weigh the facts with equity, we are often blind to our own biases. Just ask black Americans.
As I walk past a store window, I see a curious paper sculpture. It is a whimsical hat representing Marie Antoinette. In incorporates both the guillotine AND the cake she told the poor to eat.
But scholars scoff at the historicity of that famous saying. Marie’s death was “justice” fueled by hatred and human vengeance. One excess replaced by another.
There is, ultimately, one crown. And it is worn by him who does not rule arbitrarily. Jesus is the king who hears the cries of unpunished wrongs done in this transient world and promises that justice is coming. And he has no need of a blindfold to ensure his impartiality. His eyes will not deceive him. He sees to the heart of each matter.
And this brings comfort to my heart today – troubled as I am by racial inequality, confused by world conflicts with mutual aggressors, grieved by the displays of power warped by evil.
Jesus remains the righteous King. And nothing escapes his notice.
Lord, your rule is glorious. Your decisions are always right. We know you see the wrongs being done in our age, but like the psalmists, we cry out that you would act. Show the world that you reign!
Reader: How does Jesus’s rule help you process current events?