Can you believe the jury found her not guilty? The case, which I followed only closely enough to get the general picture, seemed open and shut. But in a land of freedom, an acquittal only requires a shadow of doubt. Since yesterday, much of the country and even the world is outraged. The T.V. and computer screen is covered with people pressing their faces close to the camera lens seething with disgust. “Justice for Caylee!” “Wrong Verdict!” “How could they!” And from my seat, it appears that justice might have missed, the verdict was wrong, and earthly justice has probably not been done. There’s nothing we can do to change it. The gavel has fallen and the case is closed. But there is some other business yet to be done.
Since yesterday, the resounding response from Christians and non-Christians has been one version or another of, “Well, even though the court got it wrong, God won’t! She’ll get justice one day!!” And that may be true as well. However, this is a wonderful opportunity for an investigation of the Gospel. If I’m honest, I must admit when I see earthly injustice a cry for eternal consequence is always on the tip of my tongue. But should it be?
What if she doesn’t get justice in eternity? What if she get’s grace? Would that be a good thing?
As Christians, it seems out of place with our confession to chant for wrath. By virtue of the Gospel, it is true of us Christians that we have committed outrageous crimes against God and men. We have been pardoned by divine grace. We have not been treated as our sins deserve. In Christ, we can now do nothing to be more accepted by God and we can do nothing to be less. Unexpected mercy and scandalous grace. This is the essence of the Good News.
Now, think of Casey Anthony. Allegations of outrageous crimes against God and men. Yet our natural heart-cry seems to be justice, not mercy. What if God chooses to show her grace, grant her repentance, and justify her fully on the merit of Christ? Then, one day, she will see her daughter in the new heavens and new earth without discord. What if God did this? Would we rejoice? Would we be outraged? Would we think It’s great that she’s redeemed, but she still must pay for her crimes! This is not the Gospel. The Good News is, in part, that God will never punish those He redeems for their outrageous crimes. He will love them and keep them and change them. We want that for ourselves, don’t we. But what happens when someone murders a toddler, ditches the body, and gets away? If we are not willing to face the possibility of God’s full and eternal pardon for Casey Anthony (without any retribution), we need to reconsider our beliefs about the Gospel. Let us not underestimate the scandalous nature of Good News.
In light of Casey Anthony’s acquittal, we have a providential opportunity to reconsider just how good is the Good News.
“Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, 10 nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, will inherit the kingdom of God. 11 Such were some of you; but you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God.” – 1 Corinthians 6:9-11