People are quick to accept Jesus when they have false ideas of who he is. Many like to think of him as a friendly teacher who simply advocated friendliness toward others. Some think of him as a failed political figure but with good motives. Others think of him as nothing more than a prophet. Still, others give little thought to him at all. But know this; Jesus is Lord of all (Acts 10:36). Whether one likes it or not, that is what he is.
What is more, his lordship is vindicated by his resurrection from the dead after he had given his life as a sacrificial offering, taking sins and the punishment of sins upon himself so that sinners may live and have peace with God through faith. But know this, Jesus is both Judge and Savior:
And he commanded us to preach to the people and to testify that he is the one appointed by God to be judge of the living and the dead. To him all the prophets bear witness that everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name. (Acts 10:42-43)
How you respond to his gospel will determine whether or not he pronounces you as “guilty” on the Day of Judgment or as “justified/righteous” on that Day. In the end, will you find him to be your Judge or your Savior? Ask yourself that question today.
I. Jesus as Judge
All judgment and authority has been given to Christ, that all should honor the Son as they honor the Father (Jn. 5:22-23). The day is coming when the living and the dead will appear before the holy and fearful presence of Jesus Christ, the resurrected Lord of glory (1 Cor. 2:8). All mocking will cease and laughter will turn into mourning. The thin veneer of confidence will be stripped away, exposed with fear and trembling. There will be no escape from the justice of his rod as your countless sins are brought before him and judged in righteousness.
Do you tremble at God’s word? O, that you would, for “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction.” (Prov. 1:7). If you do tremble now, know this, Jesus is also the one and only Savior.
II. Jesus as Savior
The whole Bible testifies that Jesus is the Savior (Lk. 24:25-27, 44-47), the one promised by God to take away the sins of the world (Gen. 3:15; Jn. 1:29). If you desire forgiveness of sins, peace with God, and to appear before him in holiness and righteousness, then you must come to Christ – he is your refuge!
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. (Jn. 3:16-18)
For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. (2 Cor. 5:21)
Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us–for it is written, ‘Cursed is everyone who is hanged on a tree.’ (Gal. 3:13)
And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved. (Acts 4:12)
This glorious Judge is also the Savior. Where do you stand in relation to him? Turn from your sinful way of life today and call on the name that is above every name (Phil. 2:9-11), the name of Jesus Christ, in faith. He is the Holy and Righteous One (Acts 3:14) in whom we must take refuge for our souls.