Pastor John Smith
The multitude rejoices in thinking that justice has been served and I stand on the outside, not so convinced.
Let’s be real, the trial of Derek Chauvin was a sham. He wasn’t “innocent until proven guilty” as our judicial system asserts, rather in the court of public opinion, Chauvin was a guilty man and no evidence could prove otherwise.
The court of public opinion is nothing short of mob rule and when you have politicians, celebrities, and other influencers inciting people to “stay on the street” and “get more confrontational” if their desired outcome doesn’t happen, then you no longer have a fair legal system. Instead, you have a tampered one and the judicial system dies.
What we all witnessed last week was not a step forward in our country, nor did it advance the cause of combating systemic racism. It was an act of injustice that sets a dangerous precedent for our future. If a mob that holds to a particular ideology can threaten, harass and influence what is supposed to be “impartial” and “fair” then there is no end to what it can do.
And that should concern every one of us.
Please don’t misunderstand me, Derek Chauvin was no saint. In fact, there were no saints in this situation nor were there any martyrs. The incident that unfolded a year ago was tragic and could have been prevented. However, in the court of law, every citizen is entitled and guaranteed the right to a fair trial regardless.
More and more lately, I am reminded of the words of Christ in Matthew 5:6 say, “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.” As Christians, righteousness is a constant longing within our hearts. We hunger and thirst for it within our lives and we desire to see it happen in the world around us. Christians endeavor to be a just people because the Bible teaches that the Law of God is good and holy (Rom. 7:12, 1 Tim. 1:8) and applies equally to all people. When God’s Law is rejected, denied, or broken by sinful men, it elicits mourning and grief within the soul of the believer. To put it simply, Christians aren’t and should never be okay with injustice in any form.
Yet, going back to Matthew 5:6 and the last part of the verse where it says, “…shall be satisfied.”, when will that satisfaction happen? It may happen in some part here and there in this world, but ultimately it will occur when Christ makes all things new at the very end of the age. Our world has been broken by sin and that fallenness pervades into every sphere of life, including the American justice system. However, our response to that brokenness is not to take matters into our own hands, burn down buildings, or riot in the street. Rather we are to trust God who judges justly and believe the Bible when It says in Romans 12:19, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.” Whatever happens here—all the injustice, unfair treatment, corruption, etc.—will be dealt with and all accounts will be settled by God. No sin will escape his wrath or remain unpunished but true justice will prevail because God is a just judge.
As we witness the breakdown of our institutions by unjust and unruly mobs, we must remember that mob rule will have an end. Jesus is King and he is putting all things under his feet. Those who perpetrate injustice, corruption, bribery, and those who think they can strong-arm and manipulate the system, must repent or face the justice of Christ.
Although the verdict was read and a sentence was given to Derek Chauvin, this is not the end of the matter. The consequences of this trial will play out in the years to come and we should brace ourselves for more hungering and thirsting for righteousness. At the same time, we should eagerly expect and pray for the day when those longings for justice will be satisfied by Christ.