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Restorative Justice

25 August 2023

Since the incident of the broken auditorium window, Adam and I have had a few conversations about restorative justice. A question frequently asked is ‘how do we move past the emotion of wanting retribution to a point where we are praying God’s blessing upon the ‘other’s’ head?’ 

The entire narrative of the Bible points to God’s restorative justice as He sets about restoring our relationship with Him. So, one thing I do is to keep three pivotal scenes of that narrative in tension with the current situation I am faced with. 

Scene One: The almost perfect start – the beginning in the garden, man dwelling in the fullness of God’s presence although not yet having chosen the way of justice and love as revealed in Jesus. 

Scene Two: The cross - Jesus became restorative justice. Instead of exacting retribution upon us for our disobedience and sin, He humbled Himself, put Himself into the scene to become the solution. And has commanded us, as disciples – imitators, to do as He did.

Scene Three: The perfect end –the new Jerusalem coming to Earth and once again man dwelling in the fullness of the presence of God as His kingdom is fully established. All justice will have been done and all made whole in His presence.

When we look at all these scenes together, we see that God’s desire is for restoration. This is really difficult. For Jesus it meant shame and an excruciating death on the cross. For me? Each situation has been different – some not able to be fully resolved. But each time I step into the scene set before me, to be part of the solution, even though it’s often stretching and painful I get to see a bit more of Christ’s love for me. And I am humbled and left in awe of the power of love.


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Christchurch, New Zealand

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