A serial rapist lies on his deathbed. He's been thinking about his life, and a wave of recrimination hits him for all the women he's hurt, all the pain he's caused. He sees what his behavior truly was, and he's grief-stricken. He doesn't want to die like this, realizing that he has not done one iota of good in his life. Sure, no one ever caught him in what he did, and he appeared good on the outside. But he can't avoid seeing the truth now. So he calls out to God, he genuinely repents of his sins, he accepts the cross and the sacrifice of Jesus. Five minutes later, the rapist is dead. Jesus, sitting on the throne of judgement, welcomes the new child of God into Heaven.
Victim #1 was attacked when she was 18. It was long, it was brutal, and she never saw the attacker's face. She tried to pick her life back up, go to college, not be defined by this one event. She talked to a counselor, she considered God, she even had periods in her life where she had forgiven the attacker. She would put this behind her, meet someone, and start a family. Yet every time she tried to get close to another man, she froze. She flashed back to that moment, physical contact repealed her, and she died alone. Jesus, sitting on the throne of judgement, says, "Depart from me, I never knew you."
Victim #2 was attacked when she was 45. A mother of two children, vice president of a company, successful in every way possible. Things like this didn't happen to her. Yet, she was attacked. She rallied back, also determined to pick up her life. With the help of her family, she was successful, and decided to help others who were attacked in the same way, or those exploited by similar situations. She directs her company's resources to this job, and ends up helping hundreds. Her death was mourned by all she helped, and her life was celebrated for how she was not overcome by evil. Jesus, sitting on the throne of judgement, tells her, "Depart from me, for I never knew you."
Victim #3 was special. She was kidnapped by the attacker when she was five, and not rescued until ten years later. She had been used in horrible ways, and consequently, was unable to rise above her circumstances. She offered herself to anyone who would have her, let them use her body in any way they pleased. She found things that made her body feel better, that made her only happy. She died alone, unnoticed, not mourned by anyone. Jesus, sitting on the throne of judgement, tells her, "Depart from me, for I never knew you."
The "worst" person of the group went to eternal paradise. The other three, the innocent victims, end up in hell, because they have "rejected God."
In what way is this just? I've been on a few blogs that had provided examples as to why they find it difficult to believe in God -- such as the circumstances that occured to Victim #3. Or that recent news, where I believe the daughter was held in the basement by her own father.
A common Christian response was that there would be justice done in the end, for what happened to the victim. Really? Because my understanding is that if the attacker confesses his sins and truly repents, the confessor is then free. There is no punishment, there is no justice in a legal system sort of way (such as rape someone, go to jail). Rather, Jesus has almost provided the "get out of jail" free card.
And the victims, since they have rejected God, end up in hell. So at what point did the victims receive this supposed justice?
I have a feeling the argument would be that Jesus took the punishment the rapist deserved, but that really doesn't cut it for me. Jesus didn't rape the victims, the rapist did. And if Jesus takes the punishment, then that is a distortion of what justice is all about.