Jesus MY Judge

James Krieg | Nov 14th, 2013

We have been exploring what it means for Jesus to be the Judge-King from Mark 8:27-38. But what is it like to have Jesus as my King and Judge?

Not A Blueprint For Glory

You can often glimpse what a nation or kingdom will be like from the way it is set up. And it’s no different with God’s kingdom.

Jesus explains how he will set up God’s kingdom in verses 31-33:

And he began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders and the chief priests and the scribes and be killed, and after three days rise again. And he said this plainly. And Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him. But turning and seeing his disciples, he rebuked Peter and said, “Get behind me, Satan! For you are not setting your mind on the things of God, but on the things of man.”

Suffering, rejection, death, and rising again after three days.

It doesn’t exactly sound like a blueprint for glory. Or the career path of a great and powerful king!

That was why Peter rebuked him.

But Peter is yet to understand why Jesus had to die — and how his death is necessary to found God’s kingdom.

A Kingdom = A King + Citizens

You see, any kingdom needs two elements to be a true kingdom: a King and citizens.

So in order to be the King of God’s kingdom, Jesus must gather people as his citizens.

But there's a big problem: not one human being is qualified to be a citizen of God’s kingdom.

All of humanity has rebelled against God — and become God’s enemies. We have all chosen not to live under God’s loving authority.

In a cosmic act of treason and defiance, we’ve set ourselves up as the rulers of our own lives and the judges of our own actions.

Cosmic Treason

This is what the Bible calls ‘Sin’ — not primarily the bad things we do, but an attitude in our hearts that says ‘No’ to God.

Sin is a rejection of the relationship with God we're created for. And it results in our lives being filled with actions that reflect this — things we call ‘sins’.

God is rightfully angry at this cosmic treason.

Because he is good and just and loving, he will not tolerate sin.

If we reject a relationship with him and want nothing to do with him, the fair punishment is for him to reject us in the same way.

And because rejecting God is so serious, the punishment must also be just as serious: being cut off from God and all his goodness. Forever.

Our Desperate Situation

The problem of sin runs so deep that we cannot fix it simply by trying to do good things or changing our behaviour. Our situation is far more desperate than that!

We need to be reconciled to God.

The defiant, rebellious attitude of our heart that causes us to be under God’s anger needs to be dealt with.

We owe God a massive debt — one we can't pay or make up for.

When a criminal is found guilty in a court of law, he cannot say, ‘Please let me off, because I feel really sorry for what I did. I shouldn’t go to prison because I promise to do good from now on.’

When a crime has been committed, the penalty must be paid — otherwise there would be no justice. Likewise, someone must pay the penalty for the cosmic crime of our sin.

Why Jesus Had To Die

This is why Jesus said, “the Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders and the chief priests and the scribes and be killed, and after three days rise again”.

The penalty we deserve for our treason is death.

But Jesus, the Son of God, has paid this penalty for us in his death.

And by rising again, Jesus demonstrated that the penalty had been fully paid. The fact that Jesus is no longer dead means that sin has been decisively dealt with!

What is more, through trusting in Jesus — and not in ourselves — we can be certain that God has brought us back to Himself.

He now calls us to become citizens of his kingdom by turning from our rebellion and trusting in Jesus. Citizens who have had our debt cleared, our record wiped clean, and are reconciled to God.

Living As Citizens

Living as citizens of God’s kingdom promises us at least three things:

1. Jesus is our King

Jesus is a good, loving, fair and just ruler. He’s the Judge of all humanity who loved us so much that he came to bear the judgement for us.

What a wonderful person to have as our King!

2. We have hope

We can be confident that we ourselves will never be rejected or abandoned by a divine Father who loves us so greatly, and calls us to know Him personally.

It is only such hope that can sustain us as we respond to Jesus’ call to deny ourselves, take up our cross and follow him.

3. We’re in safe hands

More, we can be confident about the future of the universe.

For Jesus is ruling over it in its entirety. It’s in safe hands!

And one day he’ll return to gather us to be with him, making all things new and removing all that's evil, unjust, painful and sad.

This is what it means to trust Jesus as my King and Judge.