When Justice Overcame the Father’s Love


How astonishing was the rigid justice of Brutus the Elder…

…who, in spite of the passions of a father, passed sentence of death upon his own sons for conspiring against the liberty of their country. While these youths stood trembling and weeping before him, and hoping their tears would be the most powerful defense with a father.

The Senate itself, whispered for the moderation of the punishment. They moved that the young men might escape with banishment. Both his fellow-consul, the prosecution, were silent. The multitude trembled; they expected the decision with horror, the inexorable Brutus rose, in all the stern majesty of justice, and turning to the lictors, who were the executioners, said to them, ” To you, lictors, to you, I deliver them.”

In this sentence he persisted, inexorable, notwithstanding the weeping intercession of the multitude and the cries of the young men, –calling upon their father by the most endearing names.

The lictors seized them, stripped them naked, bound their hands behind them, beat them with rods, and then struck off their heads; the inexorable Brutus looking on the bloody spectacle with unaltered countenance. Thus the father was lost as the judge; the love of justice overcame all fondness as the parent.

And so it was with Jesus.

Bound by his ties to both humanity and to Divinity, Jesus was declared guilty of death for our deeds. The Heavenly Father, with stern justice, delivered his own Son, his own Son, to death. All thoughts of compassion for his own Son was swallowed up in Justice. The multitude of angels and heavenly beings trembled. The sentence pronounced. Jesus was beaten, and then put to death. The Bible says, “He was pierced through for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; The chastening for our well-being fell upon Him, And by His scourging we are healed.” –Is. 35:5

Why did this happen? The Bible says in the very next verse, verse 36, “All of us like sheep have gone astray, Each of us has turned to his own way; But the LORD has caused the iniquity of us all To fall on Him.…

Oh traitor to heaven and all that is Holy! Will you not take the Atonement given to you? It is redemption given by the only person in the universe who can give it to you. Why will you try to do it yourself? You cannot! Fly! Fly! Fly to the Cross! There you will find forgiveness beyond your understanding.

Oh, why will you tarry!

Adapted from Baxendale