Justice and mercy

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This picture of Steve Smith, disgraced Australian cricket captain is probably how he will be remembered for the rest of his career, if not his life. A man, broken by one mistake that he made, humbled after a meteoric rise and now hounded by the world's press, his own government and Australian cricket fans.

This is what it looks like when there is a demand for justice with no thought of redemption or possibility of mercy. Amazingly, in one of Australia's other big sports, Rugby League, a number of the stars are guilty of far worse crimes than ball tampering - one player recently found not guilty of GBH having broken someones jaw in Rockhampton, US.

On what basis do Steve Smith, Cameron Bancroft and David Warner deserve much stricter and harsher judgement than any of us? Maybe here we see the lengths the human heart will go to ignore our own failings and sin - if we can punish others, we make ourselves believe that we have nothing to hide or nothing to worry about.

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Seeing this drama unfold this week has made me glad that in the Bible we see both justice and mercy - indeed, at the cross of Christ, we see perfect justice at the same time that complete forgiveness is held out to us. Only in the God of the Bible do we see the opportunity for redemption without neglecting the necessity and importance of justice.

I do hope that Smith, Bancroft and Warner are now given a break. They've faced the consequences of their actions. Now they wait until the next celebrity makes a public mistake that the onlooking world will delight to see them crucified for.

We worship at your feet
Where wrath and mercy meet
And a guilty world is washed
By love's pure stream
For us he was made sin
Oh, help me take it in
Deep wounds of love cry out 'Father, forgive'
I worship, I worship
The Lamb who was slain.