Condemned No More?

Day 131

Prayer for the day

O LORD, what are we that you should care for us? mere mortals that you should think of us? We are like a puff of wind; our days are like a passing shadow.

Scripture for the day

2 Kings 15-16, John 3:1-18

If you could say one thing about the First Testament kings, it’s that God had very specific opinions of them. They were either wonderful and did what was right int he eyes of YHWH or they continued in the sins of their fathers and were rejected by God. There doesn’t seem to be a lot of wiggle room back and forth. There was blessing or there was condemnation.

And, it seems, rightly so. The men who were supposed to be in charge of Israel and Judah did absolutely terrible things sometimes (sacrificing his son in the fire!!), and every once in awhile, they did wonderful things.

Interestingly, for John, Jesus did not come into the world to condemn the world, but to save it.

It’s easy to misinterpret this verse and say that the First Testament is all about rules and judgement and the Second Testament is all about grace and mercy. Not at all. Instead, God continues to judge people (look at the sheep and the goats story!), but in that judgment, he allows for salvation. He allows for something incredible to happen even to those who we would consider heinously evil. God provides the life, the teachings, the death, the resurrection, and the ascension of Jesus to help us understand that even though we will still be judged for our actions and our faith, we can rest secure in the knowledge that Jesus came to save us from that judgment by making us holy.

It is now up to us to live in that holiness, to rest in the life and death of Jesus, living into the new life of the resurrection. God loved the world, and he gave his son to save it!


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