In a way, the understandings of justice and mercy seem to gain their content from perspectives surrounding Jesus Christ and the act of redemption. In Christianity, it is believed that every individual is born of sin. As such, each individual is guilty before God who acts as the underlying judge in the end. The death of Jesus Christ, however, was significant in the erasure of errors and shortcomings human beings made. In fact, Christ is perceived as the redeemer of sins once an individual decides to acknowledge him therefore partaking in the spiritual process of salvation. In a way, the respective teachings of Jesus Christ and the views they provide assert a significant relationship between justice and mercy. While those that commit sin are liable to undergo retributive punishment, which is justice, the acceptance of Jesus as a means of salvation acts as a way of showing mercy to the sinner or perpetrator by providing him or her with an alternative to live rather than face punishment.
Overall, the concept of redemption tends to be rather universal across many religions including Judaism, Christianity, Indian religions, and well as Abrahamic religions (Tiessen 167). In respect to Christianity within a theological foundation, the notion of redemption constitutes the deliverance of Christian followers from sin. In addition to this, Jesus Christ is perceived as the Redeemer as shown in Luke 24:21. Even after Jesus was crucified, it is still evident that the Son of Man was seen as the one to “redeem Israel” based on the teachings he disseminated prior to his death under crucifixion. With this illustration, it is evident that the view of redemption clearly takes the understandings asserted by Jesus Christ in relation to his role as the vessel responsible for the eradication of sin among sinners and perpetrators (Isaiah 53:7). As such, rather than be subjected to eternal punishment through declarations affirmed by God as the Judge, the Redeemer offers a platform that sinners can apply in order to gain freedom from partaking in retributive punishment.
Undeniably, the concept of redemption relates largely to views encompassing the aspects of justice and mercy. Prior to the arrival and dedication of Jesus as the Messiah or the Redeemer of sins, human beings engaged in the act of atonement in order to ask for forgiveness from God (Moore 241). Normally, there lacked a ‘middleman’ that would take part in bearing the sins of humanity by receiving divine judgment from God and facing the derivative repercussions. This is evidenced in Chapter 1 of the Book of Hosea. Based on the chapter, God exhibits his role as the Divine Judge by implementing retributive punishment on the sinner (Stevenson 44). In this case, the sinner was Israel due to the sins that they had committed, especially idolatry. Within the first verses of the respective chapter, God directs Hosea to marry a prostitute and bear children with her in order to use them as representations of the punishment that He will deliver to the land of Israel because of the nature of their sins (Hosea 1: 2-5).
Nonetheless, the birth and death of Jesus Christ was a turning point in the conjecture surrounding the punishment of sin. In other words, the presence of Jesus was a signifier of the changes imposed on the delivery of retributive punishment (Viljoen 712). Clearly, the act of salvation represents the imposition of mercy on sinners by providing them with a “second chance” at refraining from evil and taking part in good. Hence, rather than impose uncompromising justice on sinners, the involvement of Jesus as the mediator assumes a considerable role in advancing mercy as evidenced by the forgiveness of sins.
Hosea 1: 2-5. The New Jerusalem Bible. Ed. Susan Jones. New York: Springer, 2015. Print.
Isaiah 53:7. The New Jerusalem Bible. Ed. Susan Jones. New York: Springer, 2015. Print.
Luke 24:21.The New Jerusalem Bible. Ed. Susan Jones. New York: Springer, 2015. Print.
Moore, James F. “A spectrum of views: Traditional Christian Responses to the Holocaust.” Journal of Ecumenical Studies 25.2 (1988): 212-224. Print.
Stevenson, Bryan. Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption. New York: Springer, 2014. Print.
Viljoen, F.P. “Matthew, the Church, and Anti-Semitism.” Verbum Et Ecclesia 28.2 (2007): 698-718. Print.
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