We might shake our heads at mice that run non-stop on the wheels in their cages, but at least they get some exercise as they go nowhere. Humanity endlessly spins on a different kind of wheel. For we, the people, desire a satisfaction that only moves farther away with every empty-handed grasp. Man wants the world to revolve around himself, he wants to be applauded, he wants to be cleared of any and every fault, he wants to be proved right. He wants justification.
Now if your mind goes religious at the mention of a word like justification, you need to realize that religion has no corner on this market. Listen to the arguments in the world around you, or simply pay attention to one of the continual arguments going on in your own thoughts. Can you not hear the desperate demand for justification in every argument of man? That argument says, I am right and you are wrong, and I want you to admit it. Oh no, this is not confined to the realm of religion, it lays the foundation of every human institution. For it exists at the core of every individual.
The justification we have in Christ has no similarity to the justification being sought in the world. It is rather the insanity of the futile mind that has corrupted the simplicity of the good news. "Seeking to be justified in Christ" is a statement regarding the religious perversion of the satisfaction Christ brought about, for he put an end to that endless search. Jesus did away with every argument of man by putting it to death. He ended the arguments and the blame and the fault and all the futile attempts simply by becoming all of that on our behalf. In him, the old is history, for we have been made new by his risen life. We only enter back into the argument when we pay attention to the lie. The world cannot tell you who you really are, for it does not recognize your life, which is hidden in Christ.