Judge

Welsh Judges in procession

40 Names of Jesus in 40 days of Lent — Day 15

And he commanded us to preach to the people and to testify that [Jesus] is the one appointed by God to be judge of the living and the dead. 

Acts 10:42 ESVUK

Somethig extraordinary happened in Acts 10. Peter was talking about the judgement of Jesus when the Holy Spirit interrupted.

Roman Centurian Cornelius had a vision to send for Peter. Peter also had a vision of animals unclean to Jews and a voice saying, “Kill and eat.” While Peter is pondering that, Cornelius’s men turn up. Peter sets off with them the next day.

Now Peter has preached sermons to non-Christians before. They go like this: He introduces Jesus his good works, death and resurrection, then , when speaking to Jews, Peter would talk about them about Jesus who you crucified. The Romans were also among those responsible for the crucifixion, so why didn’t Peter preach his usual sermon? Excuse me now while I get a little imaginative.

The Holy Spirit interrupted.

The sermon never ended. The lHoly Spirit fell on Cornelius and all the people who he had invited to hear Peter. Peter had not got as far as to mentionning repentance, conversion or the Holy Spirit, but that did not matter.

The Holy Spirit interrupted anyway.

The Holy Spirit interrupted when Peter managed judgement. Jesus will be the judge of the living and the dead, said Peter, but what form would that Judgement take? Jesus taught that God is love. Jesus showed that God is accepting of those wo turn to him in repentance. Jesus taught that God stands for the poor and vulnerable. Why some think that God’s judgement will not take into account what Jesus showed God is like is beyond me. When they show a God who hates the people they hate, and will indiscriminately smite these people, then it says a lot about the sort of people they are and very little about God. My message to these people is the same as to anyone who goes against God: Repent, God loves to forgive. Even Gentiles. Even Romans. Even minority groups. Everybody.

The interrupting of the Holy Spirit is an arguement which is then repeated through Acts. It is at least as significant as the Holy spirit falling at Pentecost. Maybe more so.

The judgement of Jesus will be loving, fair and without prejudice. The judgement of Jesus will be in line with God’s personality.

One thought on “Judge

  1. Like Peter, I am going to have to ponder that.

    It surely rings true. We cannot make God in our image. He is more loving and forgiving than we could ever be. He loves those sheep of another fold just as much as the ones who feel ‘chosen’.

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