March 27 2015
(All scripture is from the New King James Version unless otherwise indicated.)
Continuing with the forth Question Concerning The Cross, What Did The Cross Accomplish? it occurred to me that we did not entirely cover the second of the three things accomplished according to John 16:7-11. Here are all five verses of this scripture which features these three accomplishments:
…I tell you the truth. It is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not
go away, the Helper [the Holy Spirit] will not come to you; but if I depart, I
will send Him to you. And when He has come, He will convict the world of
sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: of sin, because they do not be-
lieve in Me; of righteousness, because I go to My Father, and you see Me no
more; of judgment, because the ruler of this world is judged.
• John 16:8, 10 – “…He will convict the world…of righteousness, because I go to My Father, and you see Me no more…”
We learned that the resurrection of the Lord and His ascension back to the Father was vindication that Jesus’ sacrifice is accepted by God. The Son had paid for the sin of man and had satisfied the righteousness of God! The penalty for sin had been set, and it is recorded in Ezekiel 18:4 and 20 – “The soul who sins shall die.” When Jesus died, He died as the sinner, loaded with all the sin of the world ever committed! But He had never sinned! So He was the righteous Lamb of God sacrificed in place of the sinner – you and me! Both the righteousness and the judgment of God were upheld! And His mercy and grace were extended to us! Now all we have to do is believe in that One and receive Him into our hearts and lives – that One who died and lives again for us!
That’s the first part of verse 10, and we covered this in our last blog. But how does “…and you see Me no more…” fit into convicting “…the world…of righteousness…”?
After Jesus had risen from the dead, He appeared to ten of the disciples in the upper room. “But Thomas, called Didymus, one of the twelve, was not with them when Jesus came.” (John 20:24). When Jesus appeared again eight days later, recorded in John 20:25 through 29, Thomas was with them.
Then He said to Thomas, “Reach your finger here, and look at My hands;
and reach your hand here, and put it into My side. Do not be unbelieving,
but believing.” And Thomas answered and said to Him, “My Lord and my
God!” Jesus said to him, “Thomas, because you have seen Me, you have
believed. Blessed are those who have not seen, and yet have believed.”
Multitudes over the centuries have not seen Jesus Christ in the flesh, and yet they have believed and been declared righteous before the Father – their sin cleansed away “…by the blood of the Lamb…” (Revelation 12:11). Their salvation and resultant changed lives for God and good are a powerful testimony to the righteousness of God!
This completes the second of the three things that the cross accomplished. The third is as follows:
• John 16:8, 11 – “…He will convict the world…of judgment, because the ruler of this world is judged.” Who is the one who has caused the most damage in God’s creation? It is Satan, here called “…the ruler of this world….” The devil is the one who introduced sin into God’s perfect creation by rebelling against his Creator and conspiring to take the ultimate place of control! (see Isaiah 14:12-14; Ezekiel 28:12-19). Then, in the form of a serpent in Genesis 3:1 through 6, he offered man the same temptation which caused the devil’s own downfall – “…you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” (Genesis 3:5). Adam bit, and so sin entered into mankind!
Satan, here in John 16:11, is the embodiment of sin! And sin was judged and conquered at the cross!
Why is Satan is called “…the ruler of this world…”? Because in Genesis 1:26 and 28 God gave Adam dominion over all the earth! But when the first man obeyed the devil instead of God, that dominion was transferred to the usurper, the wicked one! This is confirmed by what Satan told Jesus on the Mount of Temptation in Luke 4:6: “All this authority […all the kingdoms of the world… (Luke 4:5)] I will give You, and their glory; for this has been delivered to me, and I give it to whomever I wish.”
The crucifixion represented the best plan of the devil to get rid of Christ! The worst was done to the Lord at Calvary, and Jesus gained came through victorious when He rose from the dead! The Holy Spirit now shows forth that victory – “…the ruler of this world is judged…”!