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One of the most exquisite examples of justice in the New Testament ... is found in the crucifixion narrative as described by the writer of Luke's gospel (see Lk. 23:26-43), who portrays Jesus extending mercy to his persecutors and enemies: "Then Jesus said, 'Father forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing'" (v. 34). To those witnessing Jesus' crucifixion--both friends and foes--these words would have sounded foolish. And yet, paradoxically, these words of reconciliation could be understood as an expression of justice at its deepest level--justice that gives way to compassion toward those guilty of injustice who, for some reason, do not truly understand what they are doing or have done to another or others.

CAROL J. DEMPSEY, Justice: A Biblical Perspective


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