John 5:22-24; 26-27. 22 For the Father judges no one, but has given all judgment to the Son, 23 that all may honor the Son, just as they honor the Father. Whoever does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent him. 24 Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life. He does not come into judgment, but has passed from death to life.
26 For as the Father has life in himself, so he has granted the Son also to have life in himself. 27 And he has given him authority to execute judgment, because he is the Son of Man.
Have you noticed how many judge and courtroom shows there are on TV? Judge Judy, The People’s Court, Hot Bench, Judge Mathis, Mills Lane, Joe Brown, Animal Court, Divorce Court, Paternity Court. We love watching people be judged don’t we? Other people.
Of course, none of us wants to be judged. “Don’t judge me,” is one of our culture’s catch phrases. But the Bible teaches that judgment is our final destiny. Everyone will be judged by God according to what they have done (Rom. 2:6). This is a universal truth. Our judgment is inevitable. We are heading toward a final judgment by God that cannot be prevented and cannot be escaped.
Or can it?
Here in John 5, Jesus is making some incredible claims. Let’s look closely at what he is saying to the people around him.
[The Father] has granted the Son also to have life in himself – Jesus is claiming to be the source of life, the creator God, the giver of new life.
[The Father] has given him authority to execute judgment – And Jesus is claiming to be the end of all things, the judging Son of Man at the end of days.
Jesus is standing in front of them, in the flesh, dirt under his fingernails, and saying that he brings the beginning of human existence (created life), and the end of human existence (judgment) together in their presence right now.
Now what will you do with him? Oh, and your answer determines your eternal fate.
John 5:24. whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life. He does not come into judgment, but has passed from death to life.
Thankfully, Jesus’ incredible claims come with an incredible offer. An offer to escape the final judgment. An offer to not come into judgment. An offer to pass from death into life. An offer that Jesus made possible when he himself came into the judgment of the cursed cross, satisfying all God’s justice, and all our guilt in his dying. An offer that he made possible when he passed from death to life himself on Easter Sunday, making his life receivable by ascending to heaven and becoming a life giving spirit.
This offer of Jesus’ life is now made possible by simple faith in him. Hearing and believing. Transferring your trust from your own life to his. Trust me you do not want to miss out on this offer. Jesus describes the other judgment day scenario in the next two verses:
John 5:28-29. 28 Do not marvel at this, for an hour is coming when all who are in the tombs will hear his voice 29 and come out, those who have done good to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil to the resurrection of judgment.
Without Christ’s eternal life, received by faith, we will be judged based on what we have done. Have you done good? Or have you done evil? This is how every other religion sees the judgment day. A giant cosmic scale weighing our good and evil deeds against each other. Jesus is saying that yes, there is a scale. Yes, there is a judgment of our good and evil deeds. But how many of us reading this believe that we will actually survive that kind of judgment day? Don’t be arrogant. Don’t be deceived.
“To live is Christ” means that Jesus as our judge is good news! In him, our judgment day has already occurred. We have already passed through the fires of judgment day in our dying with him on the cross. And, in him, we have already passed from death into life by our resurrection with him. Now, in Christ’s eternal forgiveness, we can live free from the fear of all judgment. And we can live free from the need to judge all others. Jesus is the judge. Not you. Not me. And that too is good news.
Do you fear final judgment? Why or why not?
You in Christ
Have you passed from death into life by hearing and believing in Christ?
Christ in you
Are doing your good deeds in order to survive judgment day, or because you already have survived judgment day?
Playlist: Songs of judgment.