* Making the punishment fit the crime
This principle was for the judges to use, not a plan for personal vengeance. This attitude toward punishment may seem primitive, but it was actually a breakthrough for justice and fairness in ancient times when most nations used arbitrary methods to punish criminals. This guideline reflects a concern for even-handedness and justice—ensuring that those who violated the law were not punished more severely than their particular crime deserved. In the same spirit of justice, a false witness was to receive the same punishment the accused person would have suffered. The principle of making the punishment fit the crime should still be observed today. (NLT)
Deuteronomy 19:21 – You must never show pity! Your rule should be life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot.
* Those crimes Jesus was accused of
Standing before Pilate, the religious leaders accused Jesus of a different crime than the ones for which they had arrested him. They arrested him for blasphemy (claiming to be God), but that charge would mean nothing to the Romans. So the religious leaders had to accuse Jesus of crimes that would have concerned the Roman government, such as encouraging the people not to pay taxes, claiming to be a king, and causing riots. These accusations were not true, but the religious leaders were determined to kill Jesus, and they broke several commandments in order to do so. (NLT)
Matthew 27:12 – But when the leading priests and other leaders made their accusations against him, Jesus remained silent.
* Criminals who died by Jesus
As this man was about to die, he turned to Christ for forgiveness, and Christ accepted him. This shows that our deeds don’t save us—our faith in Christ does. It is never too late to turn to God. Even in his misery, Jesus had mercy on this criminal who decided to believe in him. Our life will be much more useful and fulfilling if we turn to God early, but even those who repent at the very last moment will be with God in paradise. (NLT)
Luke 23:39-43 – One of the criminals hanging beside him scoffed, “So you’re the Messiah, are you? Prove it by saving yourself—and us, too, while you’re at it!”
But the other criminal protested, “Don’t you fear God even when you are dying? We deserve to die for our evil deeds, but this man hasn’t done anything wrong.” Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your Kingdom.”
And Jesus replied, “I assure you, today you will be with me in paradise.”
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