Naboth and Jesus
Brothers and Sisters,
Naboth and Jesus: have you considered their similarities? Until I was preparing for last Sunday’s sermon, I had not really thought much about how there were shadows of Christ in the life of Naboth. One of the ways in which Naboth’s life pointed to Christ’s was the great miscarriage of justice he endured. This reminds me of a book that a brother in the congregation encouraged me to read Frederick Leahy’s The Cross He Bore. As you remember the miscarriage of justice in Naboth’s life, consider what Leahy says about the miscarriage of justice in Christ’s life. He writes:
From the time of his arrest Christ was denied justice. His judges virtually placed him beyond the pale of law and treated him accordingly. That was so with Herod, the Sanhedrin and Pilate. Between them he was little more than a pawn to be pushed back and forth to suit their own ends. Condemnation in the different courts was not based on evidence; indeed it defied evidence. Pilate confessed, ‘I did not find this man guilty of any of your charges against him. Neither did Herod...Look, nothing deserving death has been done by him…’ (Luke 23:14,15). Yet, at the end of the day, a cowardly governor released Barabbas, guilty of insurrection and murder, and yielded to the demand of Christ’s accusers! Christ was ‘delivered over to their will’ (Luke 23:25).
So much for justice! From the outset Christ was in no man’s land, and no man’s land was any man’s land in that anyone could treat the prisoner as he pleased. There was no legal protection. Justice stood afar off. Truth was fallen in the street. Equity could not enter. In reality Christ was placed beyond law. Christ the outlaw!
In a just society everyone lives in the context of law and has a right to the law’s protection. Condemnation must be in the context of law; but Christ was condemned outside the sphere of law when justice was openly discarded. Cain was given a sign to protect him from lawlessness. His place within the province of law was guaranteed. That privilege was denied Christ. He, the Just One, knew the pain of being denied every shred of justice. [Frederick S Leahy, The Cross He Bore: Meditations on the Sufferings of the Redeemer (Carlisle, PA: The Banner of Truth Trust, 2007), 69-70.]
Jesus was denied every shred of human justice, but he received the heavenly justice that was due to our sins. This was for us and for our salvation. This is paradoxical, puzzling, and praiseworthy. Our God moves in mysterious ways, and we praise him for it.
Warmly in Christ,