Sadly, there are many in our societies around the world who are falsely accused and subsequently wrongfully convicted.
No, it is not fair.
On one hand, the stories I have heard are filled with bitterness. How a system that is supposed to protect the innocent destroyed their lives and how everything that was of importance has been lost. Evil is spoken against the law enforcement, the prosecution, and the judge/jury.
On the other hand, I have heard stories that are filled with how God used the wrong situation to work out something good. How in the midst of a loss of income, God has shown Himself faithful to provide for families. Or how these individuals have gotten to know the Lord in a more personal and intimate way than they had not ever known Him before.
What’s the difference between these two perspectives?
Let’s look at one of the most infamous wrongful convictions ever recorded in history.
The Arrest, Conviction, and Execution of Jesus Christ of Nazareth
After His arrest and beating, Jesus stood before Pilate an innocent man. Pilate knew that Jesus had done no wrong, but felt pressured by the public to release a known criminal and sentence Jesus to the death penalty. Jesus stood by silently as the execution order was given.
Jesus did not deserve the death penalty, yet He yielded as He conceded to His Father’s will. Jesus petitioned for His Father to “remove the cup from Him,” but God the Father, also the Righteous Judge, did not issue a stay of execution.
Jesus suffered from the beatings. The crowds mocked him as He was escorted to the execution site. The execution took place on a cross in front of a multitude of witnesses.
Hanging on the cross with the blood draining out of His body, “Jesus said, ‘Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.’” (Luke 23:34 ESV)
Jesus knew He had done nothing to deserve the death penalty. He had been wrongfully convicted and executed. Yet, He prayed a prayer of forgiveness for them.
My friends, Jesus knew that what the people did was wrong. It was not fair. And even in His weakest physical state, He still did not sin by holding unforgiveness against those who falsely prosecuted Him.
The Reversal of the Death Penalty
After the executioners confirmed His death, Jesus was removed and buried in a borrowed tomb. The people grieved over Jesus’ death. They not only grieved the loss of a family member and friend, they grieved over the loss of their hopes for a king to change their present circumstances.
But three days later, the stone that sealed the tomb was rolled away. The grave was empty. The Righteous Judge, God the Father, reversed the earthly court’s ruling of the death penalty.
Death lost its power to the resurrection power of our Lord.
“When the perishable puts on the imperishable, and the mortal puts on immortality, then shall come to pass the saying that is written:
‘Death is swallowed up in victory.’
‘O death, where is your victory?
O death, where is your sting?’”
(1 Corinthians 15:54-55 ESV)
The death penalty was reversed by the Righteous Judge! Now Jesus is seated at the right hand of God interceding for us. (Romans 8:34)
We all deserve the death penalty. It is written in Romans 6:23, “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
Because of Jesus’ unconditional love for each of us, He took our place for us. I can’t imagine what would have happened IF Jesus had not of forgiven them. But HE did forgive them. He forgave us.
We all are guilty and without the sacrifice Jesus paid, we all would be sentenced to an eternal death.
Though Jesus’ wrongful conviction was not fair, He made a way where there was no other way to set aside the motion against us.
Jesus who knew no sin, became sin for our sake. His execution paid the penalty for each one of us. And now with Jesus, we are free.
If you or your family member has been wrongfully convicted in a court of law, Jesus knows how you feel. When you accept the sacrifice that Jesus made on the cross, you are forgiven by Him. Once you receive His forgiveness, you receive the power to forgive those who wrongfully convicted you.
Refresh your perspective by surrendering the unfair circumstances in your life to our Lord and Savior. Receive His forgiveness and forgive others to experience freedom.
“So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed” (John 8:36 ESV).
© 2017 Shonda Savage