Such a sincere question from a wounded heart. Where do we begin and end? By the Grace of God in all my imperfections, let me lay out some premises that could minister to the hurting heart.
We all are acquainted with the following scripture:
Psalm 89:14 NKJV
Righteousness and justice are the foundation of Your throne; Mercy and truth go before Your face.
Just follow me further on the below scriptures:
Isaiah 26:7-11 YLT
The path for the righteous [is] uprightness, O upright One, The path of the righteous Thou dost ponder.
Also, [in] the path of Thy judgments, O Jehovah, we have waited [for] Thee, To Thy name and to Thy remembrance [Is] the desire of the soul.
[With] my soul I desired Thee in the night, Also, [with] my spirit within me I seek Thee earnestly, For when Thy judgments [are] on the earth, The inhabitants of the world have learned righteousness.
The wicked findeth favour, He hath not learned righteousness, In a land of straightforwardness he dealeth perversely, And seeth not the excellency of Jehovah.
O Jehovah, high [is] Thy hand – they see not, They see the zeal of the people, and are ashamed, Also, the fire – Thine adversaries, consumeth them.
The essence of these verses, especially verse 10 (highlighted below) is carefully presented in one of the jewish renditions by biblical scholars as we see below:
Our Good Father in Heaven knows best how to offer justice and healing to each wounded individual. His forgiveness to others does not mean that He sweeps their trespasses or the hurts they had caused under a carpet. Jesus identifies with the offended as He Himself is afflicted along with us in all our afflictions (Isaiah 63:9).
True repentance of any individual is not born from the feeling: somehow I escaped and Jesus paid for all my trespasses.
True repentance is in knowing genuinely the pain I had inflicted on Him and on others (His Children) and receiving His grace and mercy and continue living a forgiven and regenerated life.
The person who really knows he is forgiven and saved is the one who genuinely knows the true cost of all his evil actions and wholeheartedly yearns and seeks the restoration of the offended person.
For the person who has not yet realized the cost of their evil actions ( or to say, as not truly repented in remorse), our Good Father is faithful in making sure that the unrepentant soul truly understands the consequences of an evil action.
Hope the below example illustrates all the above premises:
Now let’s say, I have given birth to two glorious identical twins (girls).
I name them TwinA and TwinZ and both grow under the same environment and are outstanding.
But during their difficult adolescent and rebellious years, especially on their birthday when they both receive different gifts from their friends, they start envying, quarrelling and hating each other. On a gloomy day, when both the twins were playing alone in a far off place, TwinA in all envy, bitterness and in a moment of rage pushes TwinZ into a deep well and watches her drown.
Sooner, I have come to the knowledge of this entire episode. TwinA comes and stands before me not having understood yet the full measure of her evil deed but doesn’t seem affected much. (Remember TwinA is still the very flesh of my flesh and bone of my bones, yet I have lost a very real part of me in losing TwinZ).
What do I do?
How do I suppose justice and mercy to both my twins?
If I just go ahead and kill TwinA to punish her for her evil deed, will my own act of killing my child and the evil deed of TwinA be justified? In this case, has real justice been done to my other child TwinZ?
Or if I just forgive TwinA and move on, will the cry of pain and agony of what TwinZ went through stop echoing in my heart?
Or if I drown myself, hoping it would equalize TwinZ’s death and offer a pardon to TwinA. Has real justice still been done to TwinZ? Will the very act of drowning TwinZ by TwinA stand justified yet?
In all my human perception, I believe the very act of justification would be in TwinA actually completely realizing (the full measure of) what she had done to TwinZ, thus leading to total remorse of her evil deed; having fully understood the terrible agony of heart TwinZ must have been through while drowning. And this resulting in TwinA yearning if there is ever a way to bring back TwinZ alive again and seeing her totally restored.
Isn’t that what we all seek after genuinely from those who hurt us? Though we could forgive, the deeper truth is, we all want them to know, feel and understand the hurt, agony and pain they had caused us. In seeing their remorse, we are assuming that they now really understand the hurt they had inflicted on us. While some of them could still end up being punished by higher authorities, we really want them to feel the pain we had been through and truly feel remorse about it.
I’m convinced that if they willingly received the punishment due them sarcastically without any remorse or any real feeling toward the pain they inflicted on us, we wouldn’t be appeased yet.
Back to the example, if once TwinA has realized her true position in total remorse. Is it justifiable now for me to take on the death sentence on behalf of TwinA for the murder of TwinZ (as TwinA is still an adolescent and not yet a fully developed adult)?
Hypothetically maybe. Probably It could now be justified, just yet.
For He is the Father of spirits (Hebrews 12:9) and His mercy will never compromise His justice. We can rest assured that in heaven, Jesus the Merciful King and the Righteous Judge would have perfected all those who had truly repented. For He is the Overseer of our dear souls (1 Peter 2:25).
And for those who have not truly repented, I’m sure He who is a “Consuming Fire” and the “Living Water” will righteously deal with them. We can trust His Wisdom to not disappoint us.
For it is written:
Romans 12:19 NKJV
Beloved, do not avenge yourselves, but rather give place to wrath; for it is written, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord.
James 1:20 NKJV
for the wrath of man does not produce the righteousness of God.
Also, another notable proposition in this scenario is the mystery of our resurrected selves!
Apostle Paul reiterates our union with Christ as one Body.
Ephesians 5:30-32 NKJV
For we are members of His body, of His flesh and of His bones. “For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.” This is a great mystery, but I speak concerning Christ and the church.
Now, in the natural realm we all know that those who have married have also become one flesh to each other as scripture tells us:
Genesis 2:24 NKJV
Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.
But look below as to how Jesus describes this same marriage relationship in heaven, He gives us a glimpse of this mystery of having become one with Him in the Spirit.
Mark 12:23-25 NKJV
Therefore, in the resurrection, when they rise, whose wife will she be? For all seven had her as wife.” Jesus answered and said to them, “Are you not therefore mistaken, because you do not know the Scriptures nor the power of God? For when they rise from the dead, they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are like angels in heaven.
In heaven, I believe there is a separation of the bonding that had occurred in the natural realm yet not an ignorance of each other. I infer in the same way, when the truly repented of the offended meet with each other, there will be a separation of the souls from the hurtful memories and trauma yet not a resentful ignorance of each other as both know that justice has been served. For, heaven is the abode of True Love Himself. All praise, glory and honor to the Lamb of God!