“I have always found that mercy bears richer fruits than strict justice.”
Abraham Lincoln, speech in Washington D.C., 1865
…mercy triumphs over judgment. – James 2:13
In Christianity it seems there is always a struggle between grace and law, between those who are merciful and those who demand strict justice. This balance between judgment and mercy seems hard to find in our modern world. The Apostle Paul gave us the balance in Scripture. But since he emphasized it often, we are left with the impression that the first century church didn’t quite grasp it either and was always in need of a reminder.
In the latest version of Les Misérables this same conflict is portrayed with amazing music, andincredible acting. Jean Valjean, paroled from prison after twenty years for stealing bread to feed his sister’s children, finds mercy in, of all places, the church. He is brought in from the cold and fed by the kindly Bishop Myriel. Jean repays the priest’s kindness by stealing silver from him. When he is caught by the police the bishop covers for him and, for perhaps the first time in Valjean’s life, he is shown mercy. Valjean leaves the church a changed man. Some would even say he was born again with a new name and a new life. But, because he has broken parole he is pursued by the Law in the form of Inspector Javert. The inspector knows no criminal can ever change. In his world there is no reformation, no redemption, no forgiveness, and every infraction of the law must be punished without mercy. This is the line drawn which explains the rest of the movie for the audience.
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Please click to continue reading Law, Grace and What Makes Les Miserables written by David Lawson … at Establish ~ Precept Ministries International.