Sunday, June 3, 2018

"to judge, to save"

The Word for today:
Judges 5
The word has a bad reputation. It sounds, well, judgmental.
But in scripture, “judge” carries more than just the narrow, negative connotation we usually attach to it. Here is the first instance of the word judges in the book of Judges:
Then the LORD raised up judges, who saved them out of the hand of those who plundered them. (Judges 2:16)
The Judges were saviors, deliverers. To be sure, they also judged right from wrong, but their motivating purpose was deliverance, not condemnation.
The ultimate Judge, of course, is the Lord Jesus Christ. Many people have a very hard time reconciling the picture of Jesus the Savior with the picture of Jesus the Judge. But the Bible teaches that you can’t have one without the other.
The best Old Testament illustration of Jesus as Savior/Judge is the rescue of Israel from bondage in Egypt. When God judged the chariots of Pharaoh in the waters of the Red Sea, his purpose was to save Israel. Here is how Psalm 76 describes their deliverance:
At your rebuke, O God of Jacob, both horse and chariot lie still.
You alone are to be feared.
Who can stand before you when you are angry?
From heaven you pronounced judgment,
and the land feared and was quiet—
when you, O God, rose up to judge, to save all the afflicted of the land.
“To judge, to save.”
There was no deliverance from death at the hands of Egypt without the waters of the Red Sea.
“To judge, to save.“
In the very same way, there is no deliverance from the wages of sin without the blood of Jesus Christ.
There is no such person as Savior Jesus without Judge Jesus. The best New Testament illustration of this paradox is seen here:
So also the chief priests with the scribes mocked him to one another, saying, "He saved others; he cannot save himself.” (Mark 15:31)
“He cannot save himself.” How right they were. The only way for him to save others was to judge himself.

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