Was Justice Served to Bin Laden?

No, this is not one more silly blog questioning whether Bin Laden was killed. I certainly believe he was.

But President Obama’s pronouncement, and the general consensus of the trumpeting media, that “justice was served” to this evil man – leaves me rather wanting. Could justice be served? Really? How could his simple death somehow tip the scales of justice so burdened by his evil deeds?

It brings up a whole spectrum of hard questions to tackle for the Christian.

Am I really any more or less evil than Bin Ladin? He had (several) wives and many children. Perhaps he loved them? Cared for them? Was it so much that he was evil (as in a pathological way), or was he simply so thoroughly deceived by the devil that he actually twisted the corrupted law on his heart that said killing was wrong – and made it into a virtue that was commanded by god?

Sometimes I wonder about why we worked so hard to bring an end to Bin Laden. How much of it was seeking to make the world a safer place? And how much of it was just a seeking of revenge – or, pardon me: “justice”? I am sure there were elements of both. But to what EXTENT was it for justice (revenge)? And is it a “good” or “right” thing to be seeking “justice” on such a grand and international way – so that in some way our hearts might be assuaged and comforted?

I remember so vividly in seminary when we discussed ministry to prisoners and the professor started a conversation on the philosophy and reasoning behind the justice system, incarceration and capitol punishment. I had never really given it a thought that there were actually two somewhat competing thoughts on this! It turns out that the historic and Biblical reason for prosecution and incarceration is to “punish” and “serve out justice.” The other more recent philosophy of incarceration is to simply “keep the streets safe” by keeping the bad guys out of circulation. All of a sudden the light went on in my brain and I understood the great ramifications on how society deals with its criminals.

So, if the biblical model is that it is the government’s job to keep order in the world and serve “justice” to the offender, it always is a hard call as to what is fair punishment and justice. We are always complaining to the judges that the punishment given a criminal is either too much or too little (mostly depending on whether we are the victim or the offender). Ultimately, I am very comforted that even the meager idea of “justice” in this world, and our attempts to fulfill its requirements, affirms and points to the PERFECT justice of God on Judgement Day.

So is it really conceivable that justice was served to Osama?

No. Not in the least.

But the punishment that WAS given, however paltry, points to the eternal punishment that is due people like Bin Laden…. and me…

And WHO will save us from our sin? Who has bourn our just punishment?

The Crucified and Risen One! Jesus the Christ! Alleluia!

I am so very glad for his undeserved favor (His Mercy) on me.


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