Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Death Penalty and Jesus

Flipping between the YouTube debate and Mythbusters on the Discovery Channel there was at least one intriguing question (if not short-sighted) about the death penalty and Christ.

What I find amazing coming from Christians is the total lack of belief in justice. While mercy is important there is no place in Scripture where it supplants justice...even at Calvery.

While the Bible never says directly what Christ says about the death penalty there are somethings we may infer from what the God the Father demanded.

First off, I believe God takes the execution of murderers pretty serious if it was one of the first Commandments God gave Noah when he disembarked. Not to mention all the crimes God said that the evil must be separated from the Israelites in Numbers and Deuteronomy.

I don't believe in an eye for an eye. I don't think that an executioner should take three days to execute someone like Jack the Ripper. Granted, I believe the sooner a monster is burning in hell the better off society is, but there again read Numbers and Deuteronomy.

We know that Christ said that he didn't come to negate the law, but fulfil it. Christ never intervened in an execution, He stopped a vigilante group from killing a woman. The only argument I hear from Christians that the death penalty shouldn't occur is because the condemned may become a Christian. An interesting thought at best, but if that was the case why didn't Christ get the two thieves off the cross. There was one that didn't repent, according to the thought that he may become a 'Christian' Christ would have gotten that thief off the cross. Even the thief that repented didn't receive an earthly pardon, he still paid for his crime.

What do I think Christ would do? I think He is grieved that it came to the place where a person needs to be strung up for destroying a human life, but at that point I'm not sure it fazes God. I think it reaches the point of the day of Judgement where we KNOW God will tell those that don't follow him "Get away from Me, I don't know you." Christ's responsibility is redemption and restoration, but I don't see anywhere in the Bible where Christ subverted justice.

1 comment:

Ron Simpson said...

Good article.
My answer to the WWJD is:
Jesus would weep that the criminal lost his way and committed the crime, he would weep for the victims and their family. He would talk to the condemned criminal and ask him to repent and find God. Then he would watch justice be served.