Jn.3:36 – The one who believes in the Son has eternal life; but the one who does not obey the Son will not see life, but the wrath of God remains on him.
The gospel of Jesus Christ is supposed to be good news; it’s just not good news for everybody. Today’s verse is one of those haunting verses in the scripture that we approach with fear and trembling. The wrath of God; not one of the top ten sermon titles in our twenty-first century relevant church. As a matter of fact, you may have never heard anyone address this topic anywhere. What exactly is Jesus saying about Himself? We know that Christ died to save sinners. We also know that Christ took our sins in His body on the cross. He died in my place, that is the good news that wins our hearts over to Christ.
But what about those that reject His offer? What happens to their sins? I dare not even say but I must. The sins of the lost remain on them. His offer has to be received, to reject Christ is to accept responsibility for our own sins. Christ took the wrath of God that was aimed at me on Himself. The Lord never overlooks sin; sin has to be judged. That is the whole purpose of the cross. Christ took my judgement so that I can go free. Here is how Spurgeon describes this mystery.
“There is another and a terrible reason Christ still wears his wounds. Christ is coming to judge the world. Every time Christ lifts his hands to heaven, the men that hate or despise him are accused. The cry is remembered, ‘His blood be on us and on our children’. And the sin of casting Christ away and rejecting Him is brought before the mind of the Most High. And when Christ comes a second time to judge the world in righteousness, seated on the great white throne, those hands of His will be the terror of the universe. ‘They shall look on him whom they pierced’, and they will mourn for their sins.”
The wounds of Christ remain forever on the body of Jesus. For some they are the comforting wounds of forgiveness and redemption, for others they are the horrible reminder of the approaching wrath of God. Which is it for you today? As we celebrate His death and resurrection this week I just hope it is a celebration for you.