The term “mama bear” ain’t for nothing. Motherhood evokes in us a deep tenderness toward human life and an accompanying outrage at anything that dares push against that preciousness.
When I found out my that my niece came home crying because other little girls were making fun of her brown skin, I wanted to buy the first ticket to Chicago to strongly confront (I’m using kinder words than my original thoughts) those children and their parents. Now I have my own little daughter who will face situations like this, and the thought of that often threatens my peace.
From another child’s bite mark on our child’s arm, to genocide, injustice rattles us. And it should. Our indignation at injustice actually says something about the God in whose image we are made. The God who compared himself to “a bear robbed of her cubs” to illustrate his coming judgment of sin (Hos. 13:8).
God’s Heart for Justice
Throughout the pages of the Bible, God is constantly drawing near to the brokenhearted, the disenfranchised, and the forgotten. From the very first murder (Gen. 4) to the ruthless enslavement of Israel (Ex. 1–3) to Israel’s neglect of the poor, orphans, widows, and immigrants (Isa. 58; Mal. 3:5), God has never been apathetic toward injustice. Indeed, “righteousness and justice are the foundation of his throne” (Ps. 97:2).
God has always moved toward mending what’s broken in our world because of sin (Gen. 3:15). He was so concerned about the damage of sin on our souls, bodies, and world that he sent his own Son to “save his people from their sins” (Matt. 1:21). He had planned it before the beginning of time (Eph. 1:4; Acts 4:28). He promised it for centuries (Gen. 12:3; Deut. 18:15; 2 Sam. 7:16; Isa. 53; Dan. 7:13–14). At just the right time, he sent his beloved Son Jesus to right every wrong (Luke 4:16–21; 2 Cor. 5:19; Gal. 4:4–5).
Fueled by compassion, Jesus touched the unclean, healed the diseased, and liberated the demon-possessed. He told people about God’s kingdom—a place where children are valued, women are safe, and the poor are no longer oppressed.
But Jesus’ ministry in the margins of Israel was not well-received by many. Some didn’t understand why he didn’t just usher in God’s kingdom through political power. Some didn’t like how he confronted the self-righteous hypocrisy of the religious elite. Some especially didn’t like it when Jesus called God his Father, “making himself equal with God” (John 5:18).
Jesus’ Authority to Give Life
Instead of denying this claim, Jesus responded with a discourse about the unique relationship between God the Father and himself—God the Son (John 5:19–47). In that discourse, Jesus promised something incredible: “Truly, truly, I say to you, an hour is coming, and is now here, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God, and those who hear will live. For as the Father has life in himself, so he has granted the Son also to have life in himself” (vs. 25–26).
Did you know that you were born spiritually dead (Eph. 2:1)? If we are honest with ourselves, we know we’ve contributed to the injustice of this world. We’ve lied, we’ve cheated, and we’ve hated. Our sins have earned us God’s just judgement—an eternity apart from the goodness of God’s presence (Rom. 6:23).
But God sent his Son Jesus to this world to rescue us. Jesus, the only sinless person in history, exchanged his perfect record for our sin (2 Cor. 5:21). God is just. He didn’t simply sweep our sin under the rug. He condemned our sin when he crushed his own Son who bore our sin on the cross (Rom. 8:3; 1 Pet. 2:24). Jesus’ resurrection was like a receipt that confirmed he really did pay for our sins (1 Pet. 3:18).
In exchange for our death, Jesus offers us true life—a never-ending, loving relationship with God (John 17:3). We receive that life when we place our full trust in Jesus (John 20:30–31).
Jesus’ Authority to Judge
Then Jesus spoke another amazing truth: “[God] has given him authority to execute judgment, because he is the Son of Man.... An hour is coming when all who are in the tombs will hear his voice and come out, those who have done good to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil to the resurrection of judgment” (John 5:27–29).
Jesus will judge every single human being. Those who have truly trusted in him have already had their sins paid for through his crucifixion. Those who refuse to trust in Jesus will have to pay for their own sins. Have you trusted in Jesus? Does your life reflect it? If not, trust him today. He is ready to cleanse you and help you live a life that pleases him.
Longing for Justice
It can feel terrifying to send our kids out into such a cruel world. But the coming of Jesus Christ, who has been given the right to judge by his Father, ensures us that all will be made right.
When he came the first time, Jesus dealt with our sin by sacrificially laying his life down. When he comes again, he will deal a deadly blow to all evil. All who trust in Jesus will live on the New Earth, where “He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore” (Rev. 21:4).
Grace will win. Righteousness will reign. All because of Jesus. In this hope mama bears like us can truly rest.
QUESTIONS FOR REFLECTION/ APPLICATION:
When’s the last time you felt a burning desire for justice in your experience of motherhood or otherwise?
How does the coming of Christ relieve you of the desire to “punish” or “exact justice” and free you to love your neighbor?
How does the promise of Christ’s return and impending judgement relieve some of the burden you feel over the state of the world?
How can you practically live and move as his agent within a world so full of injustice (see Isaiah 1:17 for help)
Quina Aragon is a writer, editor, and spoken word artist. Her articles, poems, interviews, and spoken word videos have been featured on The Gospel Coalition, Risen Motherhood, Journey Women, The Witness: BCC, Full of Eyes, Wade O Radio, Rapzilla, and Designed Marriage. She resides in Tampa, FL with her husband Jon and beautiful, two-year-old daughter. They are members of Living Faith Bible Fellowship where they serve as leaders of the small group ministry. Quina’s first children’s book, Love Made, releases February 5th with Harvest House. Boys and girls will learn about God as the Trinity, the Creator, and about how they are made in His image. Click here to pre-order the book. You can see more from Quina at quinaaragon.com.