The most offensive thing in all of history is the cross. In one of the most brilliant acts of love ever done Jesus died for all sinners.
Yes, even the ones that judged him and put him on the cross on the first place.
And from that one act, all are justified freely. Every. Single. Sinner.
This includes even the woman who was caught in the act of adultery that the Pharisees wanted to stone because she deserved to be punished. But, Jesus didn’t even judge her.
Doesn’t this offend you? Even a little bit?
The Pharisees were offended. So much so, Jesus’ lack of judgment made them want to kill Him. They couldn’t handle it because His judgments weren’t “fair”. There needed to be punishment but…
Jesus never punished anyone!
For a time, if I would have really thought about it, it would have offended me but, back then, I was blind and only saw it my way.
If Jesus were here today and he would give his life for the most sinful person you could think of, would you be offended?
God forbid He’d hang out with prostitutes or drunkards! Or gay people!
Not Jesus… He would judge them and demand punishment… right?
But he didn’t.
He died for all sinners so that they would all be justified freely.
Jesus judged everyone worthy before they even repented or thought of themselves to be worthy. How dare He? They have to repent!
This is like the story of a friend of mine.
He had done some bad things and ended up possibly facing a time in jail or prison… I’m really not sure.
But the judge did something completely “unethical”.
Instead of bringing down judgment, he looked at my friend and judged him worthy. He told him that he is much better than what he did so his sentence is only 30 (or was it 40?) hours of community service.
This judgment of worthiness, while we as humanity think it to be unjust, was the very thing my friend needed to change his life.
He ended up doing community service for a church and got radically saved because someone believed in him when nobody else did… and when he was in the worst of his sin.
This is what Jesus does.
Jesus Believes In You When Nobody Else Does!
He looks at our sinful humanity and he loves us. It doesn’t matter what we’ve done. If we’ve killed, stolen, lied… it doesn’t matter. His love is bigger than our sin.
Jesus loves people right where they are. He loves YOU, right where you are. There is nothing you can do to make Him love you more or to make Him love you less. (Heard this phrase from someone important…)
The verdict is in! He paid everything for you while you were yet a sinner! He justifies you freely. Jesus believes in you so much, He actually died for you!
This is the Gospel. This is the good news. And it’s all for you.
It’s not up to your performance. It’s not even up to you to fix yourself up so you can come to Him. He fixes you up.
Brennan Manning asks the question, “Do you believe, right now, that Jesus loves you exactly how you are?”
Your answer to that question will determine everything in your life.
When you believe you are loved, it changes everything. That is when you find yourself fixing yourself up out of desire because He loves you. Just like when you fall in love with another human. That love makes you want to be your best.
Love brings transformation.
The biggest heap of love you can get is from Jesus, because He judged you worthy while you were yet a sinner.
Do you believe it?
Does it grip you?
This all leads me to a question.
If God is love, and love keeps no records of wrong, how does judgment day look like?
(Yes… another question.)
If we’re supposed to look like Jesus, how are we judging people as worthy? Or are we asking for punishment?