God makes the rough places plain, the crooked straight, the dark places light. Since the fall of man, God’s loving heart longs to redeem and heal the rough and broken. Swimming against the stream of God’s love receives judgment. Satan opposes God in every way. Christ’s dying on the cross pronounces judgment on the evil liar himself. God’s character has to judge evil, but it is meant to restore the shalom of his good creation.
John 12:31-33 Now is the judgment of this world; now will the ruler of this world be cast out.” And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself.” He said this to show by what kind of death he was going to die.
God’s passion is to bring men back to himself. God’s Word to the unbelieving world is meant to be a light exposing the dark of sin. He judges evil and we will only be judged if we refuse to let go of our evil pride and not surrender to his love. The very Word that is rejected becomes the judge, because the written, spoken Word points to the Living Word, Jesus.
John 12:47-48 If anyone hears my words and does not keep them, I do not judge him; for I did not come to judge the world but to save the world. The one who rejects me and does not receive my words has a judge; the word that I have spoken will judge him on the last day.
Jesus came to save. The one who does not believe and trust his heart to be restored makes the Savior the judge. The unbeliever actually passes judgment on himself or herself. Judgment is not about punishing the wrongdoer, but bringing healing through salvation.
John 3:16-21 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God. And this is the judgment: the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil. For everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his works should be exposed. But whoever does what is true comes to the light, so that it may be clearly seen that his works have been carried out in God.
It’s not our intellectual issues that keep us from believing in and following Jesus, but our spiritual blindness and love of the darkness. He can help smooth and straighten our path. Jesus, the light, came to walk with us, be with us, and shine through us. He gives us new vision. During Lent, as we consider the last days of Jesus life, determine to walk closer to him in restoration. Evaluate a decision you are making today and make sure it reflects your position in Christ Jesus. Listen to DC Talk’s In the Light.
By Donna Burns