Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Why the Messiah Had to Die Before Ushering in Peace--- and Why You Would Want Him To

The other day I was thinking about the standard Jewish objection that Jesus can't be the Messiah because he didn't usher in world peace.

Now, we would say that he came first to die for our sins and later he will establish a kingdom of peace.

I would imagine that sounds like a cop-out to some. But do me a favor and go through the following mental exercise with me.

Imagine the Messiah came, not to suffer our sin, but to establish peace. What would establishing peace entail?

It would require establishing a kingdom in righteousness. And as Isaiah writes, all our righteousness is like filthy rags. So to bring in righteousness, the Messiah would have to judge and punish our righteousness.

That leaves us in a heap of trouble.

So if the Messiah came only one time to rid the world of evil, we would be in a lot of trouble.

Be careful what you wish for. And be thankful that the Messiah came first to bear the sins of his people and then later to judge the world in righteousness, so we have time to turn from our sins.

As David wrote: "Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts."

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