Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth. Isaiah 45:22 (KJV) Here is the story of the conversion of C. H. Spurgeon. One Sunday morning, I came to a little chapel. The minister was snowed in and a shoemaker went up into the pulpit. He began:...
“Whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life. He does not come into judgment [that’s what death is!], but has passed from death to life.” John 5:24
Why does Jesus bring in death here? Because, biblically, that is what death is—to come under the judgment of God.
Jesus is describing something very wonderful. All of us live with death ahead of us. We live until we die: “It is appointed for man to die once, and after that comes judgment” (Heb. 9:27). To pass from life to death to judgment would be a grim future. But here Jesus speaks about a person who has passed from death to life!
What we know is a life where death is ahead of us, but Jesus speaks of a life where death is behind us, a life where the judgment and condemnation of God lies not in the future but in the past! How would that be possible?
When the Son of God went to the cross, the sins of all who would believe were laid on him. All the judgment and condemnation that were due to us was poured out on him. If your judgment was spent, exhausted, emptied out, and absorbed in Christ back there on the cross, then if you are in him, you will not come into judgment. And if there is no condemnation from God ahead of you, you can truly be said to have passed from death to life!
Are you living as though death (coming under the judgment of God) were still in front of you? Or as if death were behind you?