The Good News of the Judgment

The Glory of God in the Judgment Hour
William Diehl

John 12:27 "Now is my soul troubled; and what shall I say? Father, save me from this HOUR? But for this cause came I unto this HOUR. Father, glorify thy name. Then came there a voice from heaven, saying, I have both glorified it, and will glorify it again. The people therefore, that stood by, and heard it, said that it thundered: others said, An angel spake to him. Jesus answered and said, This voice came not because of me, but for your sakes. NOW is the JUDGMENT of this world, NOW shall the prince of this world be cast out. And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me."

Evangelical Christians have one message—Jesus Christ and Him crucified. In Christ all the world has been judged. At the Cross, all the world is confronted with, and called to face the dreaded fact of our personal responsibility for the death of the Son of God and thus "all" are drawn unto Him.

No one can escape this drawing unto the court room of heaven. The hearts of all are laid bare at the Cross. It is we who stand naked and exposed before the Cross of Christ Jesus. We all are in that mob demanding that the innocent blood be shed and we all have proclaimed that we have no king but Caesar. All the world rejoiced when Jesus was judged the Guilty One. He was lifted up between heaven and earth, rejected by both, as the Cursed One facing the wrath of men and of God and of demons alike.

But amid the thick shroud of darkness that surrounded the Son of God as He was lifted up on that Cross, a ray of hope shone through. This time not a voice of thunder but an almost unheard whisper declared the true glory of God, "Father forgive them for they know not what they do."

In these words, the heart God has been revealed at the Cross. While all the world was reviling, God was revealing. The mystery of God was unfolding at the Cross, the mystery of His love for the unlovable. The Shepherd was reaching down to the lowest depths to draw unto Himself the lost lonely sheep of His fold. His love called Him to brave the storm of rejection that the vilest sinner may find shelter in the embrace of His perfection.

All heaven asked why? Why such willingness to suffer for a mob of ungrateful callous despisers of all that is kind and good and gentle. We cannot explain the love of God for the likes of sinners like us, we can only behold it and be amazed by it, astounded by it, overwhelmed by it, and drawn by it.

For Him, heaven was not a place to be desired without His beloved people to share His glory and rejoice in the glory of God. Behold what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us that we should be called "the sons of God".

To us who believe, the Cross is a "savor of life unto life" but to those who pull away, the Cross is a "savor of death unto death". The precious gospel is proclaimed to all the world and the Lord asks,"Who hath believed our report?" The unbelieving world mocks, "How can anyone ever believe that God Himself would bear the just punishment of all the sons and daughters of Adam?" But the repentant sinner rejoices and responds, "How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him who bringeth good tidings, who publishes peace!!!"

Now is the judgment hour of this world. Now all are convicted of sin and unrighteousness and punishment to come. Who shall be able to stand? Standing before the Cross of the Lord Jesus Christ all are drawn to "behold the Man".
The hour of judgment has come in the person of Jesus Christ. The Judged One has now become the Judge and the judges have become the judged. Every cursing mouth is stopped. Let all the earth keep silent before Him.

We bow in humbled silence before the Lamb of God. We come straggling in from the bitter cold of this world's frenzy to warm ourselves by the hearth of His forgiveness. We rest our weary souls in submissive dependence upon the unmerited grace of God in Christ Jesus.

The cross is the watershed of His-story; we can never go beyond the cross. In this the Hour of God's Judgment, we may only bow before the Sinless One, the Good One, and altogether Faultless One. Those who come to and abide at the foot of the Cross are accounted by His merciful reckoning to be as faultless, and sinless, and good as if they had never denied Him at the Cross.

The lightning flashed, the thunder crashed,
The bolts of wrath He bore for me.
Then in the dark some fiend I see.
Who could it be? Who could it be?

The darkness breaks, that fiend I see.
T'was I who did this thing to Thee.
I drove the nails at Calvary.
The truth at last, at last I see.

O Lord forbid that I should boast,
Save in the cross of Christ my Lord.
I clearly see at Calvary
Just what I did I did to Thee.


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