Today’s Gospel Reading: John 3:31-36 – 2nd WEEK OF EASTER: Thursday, 2 May 2019
Light and darkness, belief and unbelief, above and below: John uses these words to give us a clear understanding of what it means to turn from sin and live according to the ways of God. Jesus comes from above (John 3:31) and is the light sent by God (John 3:34). Our acceptance of Jesus as Lord and Savior leads us to the Father. Turning away from Jesus leads to darkness and separation from God – a life of darkness opposed to what God wants for His children. Yesterday, today, and tomorrow, choosing to live in darkness will evoke God’s wrath.
What is God’s wrath? It is often described in the Old Testament as divine anger at man’s disobedience. The prophets used highly descriptive images like that of a blazing, consuming fire to describe God’s wrath. Scripture gives us numerous examples of individuals, communities, and even entire nations being subjected to God’s wrath. But there is hope. Scripture gives always pairs God’s wrath with the promise of mercy. God is ardently devoted to His beloved people. His wrath is tempered by His mercy because He longs to draw His children away from sin and back to Himself.
Jesus’ death on the cross is the supreme example of God’s wrath and His mercy. Human disobedience had to be punished, yet in His love and mercy, God sent His Son to pay a price we could never pay. Thus, God made the provision for everyone to be saved. The way was opened for the Holy Spirit to be given to us without measure (John 3:34), enabling us to obey God and experience fullness of life (John 3:36).
There will be a judgment when we will all be confronted by our sins. But we have this promise: “The LORD redeems the life of His servants; none of those who take refuge in Him will be condemned” (Psalm 34:22). Let us place ourselves in God’s loving hands and conform our lives to the Gospel message of love and obedience. Each day, let us ask the Holy Spirit to be with us in all we do.
Jakarta, 2 May 2019
A Christian Pilgrim