Summary: Can we hear ourselves saying “It’s not fair!” And you are probably right! It isn’t. Ask Jesus – He knows.
Do you agree we live in an unfair world? It’s strange how quickly children are aware that life is not fair. Just listen into what children have to say and it’s not long before the words “It’s not fair!” can be heard. Someone has more sweets or a bigger present than another, having to go bed earlier than their older brothers or sister, their turn to wash up. Or especially if they can’t do something they want to do and of course “everybody else can!” Can we hear ourselves sometimes - saying to God, friends, ourselves and anyone else prepared to listen “It’s not fair!” And do you know, you are probably right! It isn’t. Ask Jesus – He knows.
AN UNFAIR WORLD?
He lived a perfect life, harmed no-one, healed countless, fed the hungry, preached good news to the poor, performed marvellous miracles - yet He was falsely arrested, on trumped up charges, and one gets the feeling the verdict had already been agreed before the evidence had even been put together. Yet He was innocent of any wrongdoing. Life seemed most unfair.
I don’t know about you, but I too have had to protest my innocence, been questioned or put on trial for things I haven’t done. It makes you feel unloved, persecuted, isolated, and alone. Life has seemed unfair.
JESUS MADE PERFECT THROUGH SUFFERING
Yet the Bible tells us Jesus was made perfect by His sufferings. Strange that, - Jesus so perfect, good, holy, true, could be made even more perfect thru suffering. But somehow Father God used all these awful unfair experiences in the life of His Son to bring even more perfection:
Hebrews 2:10 “In bringing many sons to glory, it was fitting that God, for whom and through whom everything exists, should make the author of their salvation perfect through suffering”
Hebrews 5: 8 & 9 “Although He was a son, He learned obedience from what He suffered and, once made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey Him”
JESUS UNDERSTANDS OUR SUFFERING
Jesus can completely identify with those who are suffering injustice, pain, loneliness, hate and needless violence. Why - because unfairly it happened to Him.
Hebrews 4:15 “For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathise with our weaknesses but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are –yet was without sin”.
SO WHAT’S THE POINT?
God’s heart is always redemptive. God is able to bring the very best out of a bad situation. There is nothing that He allowed to happen to His son Jesus, or will allow to happen to you His child, which He is not able to use for His perfect purposes and plans. Remember everything that happens to you is God filtered. Yes, life is often very unfair. But God was able to transform even the awful suffering that His Son endured into such glory, praise and honour. For Jesus is now exalted, to the highest place, having suffered and endured all this world sadly had to give Him. He is seated at the right Hand of the Father.
Hebrews 2:9 “But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels, now crowned with glory and honour because He suffered death, so that by the grace of God He might taste death for everyone.
Jesus opened a way for us to come to Him. Can you think of anything more unfair than Jesus taking the punishment for our sins? Yet His suffering opened up the only way for us to be reconciled to the Father. The prophet Isaiah tells us in Chapter 53 we all like sheep had gone astray but Jesus - unfairly:
“took up our infirmities”
“and carried our sorrows”
“was pierced for our transgressions
“and by His wounds we are healed.”
By God’s grace we can receive all that Jesus has done for us, for God promises in John 1:12 “Yet to all who received Him, to those who believed in His name, He gave the right to become children of God”.
Reading through the account of Jesus’ trial the words “unfair” came clearly to mind but “cruel” was another. It strikes me that being ordered to undergo a cruel flogging, torture and mocking was absolutely unnecessary. When evil seems to reign events are often unnecessarily cruel. History confirms this, think of the atrocities committed under the Nazi – unnecessarily cruel and barbaric or indeed the evil crimes committed during the ethnic cleansing in Rwanda, Bosnia and so recently in Kosova.
Or, remember when the fiery furnace for Daniel’s friends was ordered to be six times hotter than usual? Sometimes in our own experiences or circumstances of those we love, things seem unnecessarily cruel. I believe, however, evil will not prevail. An alternative translation of Isaiah 59:19 promises “When the enemy comes in like a flood, the Spirit of the Lord will put him to flight”.