When Batman stops a robbery or, as in The Dark Knight Rises, inspires his city to follow his example, he is being a force for good and justice.
But how many other robberies happen all over the city that he can’t prevent? How many criminals freely walk the streets in other cities? If Batman manages to lock up the Joker, it may prevent him from committing more crimes, but it doesn’t bring Joker’s victims back from the dead. Who is going to provide justice or restitution for them? Not even Batman can right all of those wrongs. If we really want there to be justice for the Joker and restitution for his victims, there has to be something beyond even what Batman grants.
The same is true in our world. No government can ensure complete justice. Many horrible crimes are never revealed or solved. In fact, governments are often responsible for committing those horrible crimes! Just like there is a standard beyond Batman, there is a standard beyond us and our government. If man invents morality, then there would never be any justification for protesting or reforming your government. We couldn’t even say the Nazis were wrong. After all, they were just obeying their government. As C. S. Lewis wrote:
The moment you say that one set of moral ideas can be better than another, you are, in fact, measuring them both by a standard, saying that one of them conforms to that standard more nearly than the other. But the standard that measures two things is something different from either. You are, in fact, comparing them both with some Real Morality, admitting that there is such a thing as a real Right, independent of what people think, and that some people’s ideas get nearer to that real Right than others. Or put it this way. If your moral ideas can be truer, and those of the Nazis less true, there must be something—some Real Morality—for them to be true about.[i]
God is that “Real Morality,” and He is the only one who has the power and knowledge to ensure ultimate justice is done—even for those hidden crimes that are never discovered here on earth.
You know how much a flawed being like Batman wants justice. Now, imagine how much more an infinitely just God wants it. Batman may keep watch over Gotham, but God is keeping watch over the entire universe. He will ultimately bring true justice to all of us. As the conclusion to Ecclesiastes puts it:
Now all has been heard;
here is the conclusion of the matter:
Fear God and keep his commandments,
for this is the duty of all mankind.
For God will bring every deed into judgment,
including every hidden thing,
whether it is good or evil.Ecclesiastes 12:13-14
If you think about your life and every hidden thing you’ve done, do you really want justice from God? Justice is getting what you deserve. Mercy is not getting what you deserve. And grace is getting what you don’t deserve. The only way to avoid the justice you deserve is to accept the grace He offers by trusting in the Savior.
[i] Lewis, Mere Christianity, 13–14.