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Jesus’ Resurrection and Social Justice

A few weeks have passed since we celebrated Easter Sunday but I’m still reflecting on the meaning of Christ’s resurrection. What about you? What does resurrection mean to you and how do you embody it?

My name is Pablo Kim Sun and this is my first time writing a blog for Do Justice. For those who do not know me, I serve as senior leader for anti-racism and intercultural conciliation for the CRCNA within Canada. Since the work of anti-racism falls into the larger category of Christian social justice and reconciliation, I often meditate on the meaning of resurrection in this context.

When I have these feelings and thoughts, I remember Jesus’ resurrection.  

Whenever I read news of innocent and vulnerable people imprisoned, punished, and sometimes killed simply because of their colour of skin, my heart breaks. It is no longer news to hear stories of certain dominant (religious, ethnic, or racial) groups violently over-power minority groups. When victims are silenced and oppressed and perpetrators and offenders with much power and influence are not punished or even brought to the justice system, I often wonder if justice will ever prevail. I repeatedly ask myself if my work on social justice has any impact to make our community and the world a better place. Sometimes, I feel like everything that I do is in vain. And when I have these feelings and thoughts, I remember Jesus’ resurrection.  

One way that Jesus’ resurrection impacts me is through understanding that the resurrection means the restoration and victory of true justice. Jesus, who is fully God and fully human, a prophet, teacher, and messiah was crucified, the only living being without any sin. As you know, crucifixion is not a simple punishment. It was the punishment that was reserved to execute the most rebellious criminals within the colonial territory of the Roman Empire. The Roman justice system and the Jewish religious authorities labeled Jesus as one of the rebellious sinners and crucified him. Jesus, the Son of God, was condemned as a sinner. Everyone who knew Jesus understood that this was a total injustice but no one did anything to stop this from occurring or even comment that this was unjust because they were afraid of the repercussions.

God responded to Jesus’ cry and all the prayers of the believers in the most eternal way,

When Jesus shouted, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” and exhaled his last breath, everyone witnessed the victory of injustice. Through Jesus’ execution, the Roman authorities intended to send out the message that the people with power decide what justice is and what is not. The terror crushed all the followers’ hope and expectation to be saved and liberated by God. 

Undoubtedly, when the faithful believers saw Jesus’ death, they cried out to God, when will your justice prevail? How long will the evildoers triumph over justice?

God responded to Jesus’ cry and all the prayers of the believers in the most eternal way, God raised Jesus from the dead and highly exalted him and gave the name that is above every name (Philippians 2:9). Jesus’ bodily resurrection and his exaltation also means the restoration of God’s justice. As Jesus’ resurrection is a sign of assurance that all believers will be resurrected in the eschaton, it is even a sign of promise that God will bring all injustices to justice. Therefore, as I believe in the bodily resurrection of Jesus, I trust that God’s justice will triumph over all injustices as well.

To believe in this does not mean that I never have doubts. There will be moments when I will be discouraged and feel hopeless. However, this belief helps me to carry on the work of social justice in spite of all the challenges that I am facing because I believe that somehow, God’s justice will prevail. And this is how I try to embody and practice Jesus’ resurrection.

What about you? How will you embody and practice resurrection from where you are?

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