Professor David Protess established The Medill Innocence Project in 1999. It investigates wrongful convictions. The group, made up of students from Northwestern University, has uncovered evidence that set free 11 innocent men—five of them were on death row. We applaud this and any effort that fosters justice in our society. If this group had existed in Jesus’ day, it might have considered taking His case to reveal His innocence. We know from the Hebrew Scriptures—as well as from the New Testament record–that Jesus was not guilty of any crime. The prophet Isaiah, in chapter 53, described His trial long before He arrived. He wrote, “He was oppressed and treated harshly, yet he never said a word. He was led like a lamb to the slaughter. And as a sheep is silent before the shearers, he did not open his mouth. Unjustly condemned, He was led away. No one care that He died without descendants, that His life was cut short in midstream. He had done no wrong and had never deceived anyone. But he was buried like a criminal in a rich man’s grave.” Jesus endured violence without retaliation because He loved us. He, the innocent Son of God, took our punishment. No pain that we endure can ever match His. But Peter reminds us that if others inflict pain on us, we ought not to personally retaliate. We should seek justice in legitimate ways. In the end, we entrust our lives to God who created us. He will never fail us.
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