“Thus says your Sovereign, the Lord,
your God who pleads the cause of his people:
See, I have taken from your hand the cup of staggering;
you shall drink no more from the bowl of my wrath.”
~Isaiah 51:22 (NRSV)
The above presentation is, of course, a reality that the Christian knows very well as fulfilled in the Lord Jesus’ crucifixion and resurrection. Jesus, the Lamb of our eternal Passover, has taken the cup of fury so we, in our stupor of sin, would be presented holy and blameless before the Father.
Because the bowl of God’s wrath was to be given to us in response to our staggering from the effects of the cup of our inebriation, there is no more wrath, now, because that cup has been removed from our hand. Of this we’re to be sincerely thankful.
Whilst there will be judgment, there is now no more condemnation. Condemnation, for us who are saved, is a ‘no more’ reality.
Allowing That Truth To Sink In
God knows every slinking movement and every stinking secret we’ve ever made and concealed. Every thing.
Not only that, God, who is all-powerful as well is all-knowing, could dash us to hell if only he wanted. But because God is all-good he had devised, from a divinely-inspired understanding of how creation would play out, the rescue plan of redemption beyond all prediction besides clever human hindsight.
That we would stand judged by God, and even condemned, for that is what we deserve, is a harsh and an incredible reality. We would stand for annihilation. We are worthy the most contemptible destruction. This is not overstating it. We cannot begin to imagine the depths of the case against us.
And yet, though we will be judged, and though we will be found wanting, we, in Christ, are condemned no more. This puts a whole new slant on perceptions of meeting God in the life thereafter. No more are we to fear, besides the fact that many secret things will be revealed to us by God; things we kept secret.
But the consequences of those secrets, and of every sin, have been radically transformed. Do we ever just sit and let that truth sink in?
Those consequences were engineered into our favour before creation came into existence. We were always safe, because always have we been loved by God.
Everyone is destined to die once and then be judged (Hebrews 9:27), but the reborn Christian, saved beyond their sin by the blood of the Passover Lamb, is condemned no more.
Having made friendship with God, fear of death or the afterlife no longer has logical relevance. The repentant Christian can look forward to a life following this life that transforms, one-million-fold, their sense of life beyond. They can look forward to life eternal, which would be too good to be true if it wasn’t true.
© 2012 S. J. Wickham.