I’m behind the times when it comes to the hit TV show Lost. I’m making my way through Season 1 via iTunes, and I just finished an episode where one of the characters seeks out another for revenge — to kill that person because of a perceived culpability in the death of a loved one. It got me thinking about a subject I don’t think very often about: revenge.
I’m fortunate in that I’ve never been in a situation where I felt like every fiber of my being was crying out for retribution, for payback, for satisfaction. I’ve never sought out vengeance, so I know for a fact that I’m unable to imagine what it’s like. When I picture someone having killed my brother, or father, or close friend, I don’t even have an emotional category for that.
It’s a natural thing to want to demand that someone pay for what they have done. There must be consequences for their actions. The blood of the innocent cries out for justice. But then I remember that someone has already paid the price. Someone has already suffered the consequences. Someone has already been punished, tortured in loneliness and executed in despair. Such terrible deeds have had their just redress. That person bore the full brunt of a righteous retribution. His name is Jesus Christ.
We don’t think about the death of Jesus in those terms very often. Jesus is always the answer for our sins, for the bad things we’ve done. But Jesus didn’t just die for my sins, or for your sins. He died for the sins of the whole world. And that means ALL of them. Their sins. The sins of a murderer. The sins of an adulterer. That person who in a single moment destroyed your family, your reputation, your livelihood, your reason to live.
You may think you can find wholeness and peace by destroying them in return, but you can’t. Only in the arms of the One who took on the sins of mankind and paid the ultimate price can you find restoration and resurrection. Bring your anger and your sorrow to Him, and He will bring you the justice of eternity.