I have to be honest that I have not really followed the trial process for Casey Anthony. I wasn’t tuned in to see what evidence was or was not presented in the case. Even not knowing what was really going on in the case, I was sucked into the drama of the verdict yesterday—along with the rest of the world!
What caught me was not the “not guilty” verdict but the response to the verdict. More specifically, the American Christian response to the verdict. I know that it is a tendency of mine to look for some type of justice and peace in a situation that I just don’t understand. When I don’t get my way, it just feels better to believe that something like “karma” will make it right down the road. And as the news dropped about the Casey Anthony verdict yesterday, it seemed as if the Christian response was that it’s ok that the judicial system failed because God would pour out judgment upon her.
This statement (in the wrong context) is ridiculous.
We want to proclaim God’s judgment before He’s ready to do so. We forget that the blood of Christ can cover a multitude of our (Christians) sins, and can equally do the same for those we declare “guilty” if they too will repent. All over Facebook and twitter yesterday, it was declared by Christians and non-Christians that God would cast judgment on her for her wrong doings in the death of her daughter.
The biggest problem with such a statement is that it nullifies the option of grace. I don’t know what part she had in this ordeal if any, but regardless of that I do know that she is a sinner. Scripture tells me that we all are sinners, and we all have fallen short of God’s glory (Romans 3). It also tells me that she will face a jealous God who will judge her for her sin unless she is pardoned (Romans 6). Scripture tells me that despite her actions, she can still receive grace by believing and calling upon Jesus Christ (Romans 10). Even if she murdered her child, her sin is no more heinous than mine. If Christ can cleanse me from all my unrighteousness then he is mighty enough and faithful to do so for all that call on His name.
This is the difficulty we have with grace. It’s not fair.
I’m reminded of the parable of the vineyard workers. They each worked a different number of hours, but all received the same wage. This is how God chooses to delve out His grace. It is not based on our works, but on His love. I’m a father to a young daughter, and it makes me sick to my stomach to think anyone could do harm to an innocent child. And I know that there may be a day when God casts judgment on whoever took the life of this child. But I also must realize that it is equally possible that they will accept Jesus Christ and that He will bear that judgment for them as He has done for my sins. As hard as it may be, I pray that she finds the latter.