April 4, 2016

It probably sounds bold to say to prophetic people that we get to live in a realm of life in which we don’t experience judgment, especially since that is a subject that looms large throughout both the Old and New Testaments. I want to clarify what I mean. You may have looked at judgment through the eyes of the Old Covenant. So now let’s see what judgment looks like through the rose-colored glasses of the Blood of Jesus.

Delivered from Judgment

We know that Jesus died for our sins, but what many of us don’t realize is that He also died to deliver us from the judgment that those sins brought on us. This is the main point of the most famous verse in the Bible. You would be hard-pressed to find a Christian who couldn’t quote John 3:16. But I hardly ever meet a believer who understands that this is a transitional Scripture, the verse on which all of history pivots.

For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him (John 3:16-17).

Jesus went on to say that, “Anyone who hears my sayings and does not keep them, I do not judge him; for I did not come to judge the world, but to save the world.” (John 12:47)

Messiah’s Mandate

But perhaps the most powerful indication that Jesus didn’t come to judge the world began at what some theologians call “The Messiah’s mandate.” It was Jesus’s custom to speak in the synagogue on some Sabbath days. Tradition tells us that for hundreds of years rabbis had set up a chair in the synagogue reserved for the Messiah that nobody was ever allowed to sit in. They believed the Messiah would come, quote the Messiah’s Mandate and then sit down in The Messiah’s Chair. Then one day something profound took place. Jesus entered the synagogue and made His way to The Chair. You can imagine that the room grew suddenly and intensely quiet, as every eye in the place focused their attention on Him.

Jesus turned to the magistrate and was handed the scroll of Isaiah. He scrolled down to the 61st chapter of the book and then began to quote the Messiah’s Mandate. Dr. Luke records His words as follows; “The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, because He anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives, and recovery of sight to the blind; to set free those who are oppressed; to proclaim the favorable year of the Lord,” (See Luke 4:16-20). The congregation stood there stunned as Jesus handed the scroll back to the magistrate and sat down in the Messiah’s Chair! But wait, Jesus made a profound intentional omission as He quoted Isaiah 61. Look carefully at the original prophecy and see if the exclusion stands out to you:

The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me, because the LORD has anointed me to bring good news to the afflicted; He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to captives and freedom to prisoners; to proclaim the favorable year of the LORD and the day of vengeance of our God.” (Isaiah 61:1-2)

No Vengeance

Did you notice the New Testament version ends with “the favorable year of the Lord” and does not include the rest of the sentence, “the day of vengeance of our God”? The omission was intentional because Jesus’ mission wasn’t to bring vengeance, but salvation (the favorable year of the Lord) to the world. The “favorable year of the Lord” is a clear reference to the Jewish year of Jubilee. It came every fifty years and it was the time when all debts were forgiven and all slaves were set free.

Jesus put it this way in the gospel of John, “Now judgment is upon this world; now the ruler of this world will be cast out,” (John 12:31). Ever since the Cross of Christ, the judgment that has been released is against the devil and his demons.

For more on this subject, check out my book The School of the Prophets.

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Do you agree? Tell me about it in the comments below.

Topics: All TopicsProphetic


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