#DailyDevotion You’re So UnChristlike
18 The Lord made it known to me and I knew; then you showed me their deeds. 19 But I was like a gentle lamb led to the slaughter. I did not know it was against me they devised schemes, saying, “Let us destroy the tree with its fruit, let us cut him off from the land of the living, that his name be remembered no more.” 20 But, O Lord of hosts, who judges righteously, who tests the heart and the mind, let me see your vengeance upon them, for to you have I committed my cause.
Jeremiah is looking into the future and sees Jesus and his trials against the Pharisees and the Scribes. They would not listen to Jesus or learn from him. No, they saw Jesus as an enemy to their false ways (which he was) but instead of repenting they started seeking ways to kill him. They would set Jesus up with questions hoping he would answer them in a way that would get the death penalty. They would bring him people hoping he would break the Law of Moses and become worthy of death. But each time our Lord outwitted them and showed them what was really on their hearts.
Eventually they would get their wish and bring Jesus for trial, to charge him with breaking the Torah and show him worthy of death. They thought they were running the show, but Jesus only allowed it for our and their salvation. They wished to cut Jesus off from the land of the living, but Jesus is eternal life. They hoped to make his name disappear, now a third of the earth calls upon it for salvation. But at the time Jesus was like a gentle lamb led to the slaughter. He did not revile them. He did not fight back. His last words on the cross included, “Father forgive them for they know not what they do.” Jesus committed himself into the Father’s hands.
But then Jesus here says something quite unChristlike, at least to our ears. He appeals to the Lord of hosts who judges righteously, that is he test the heart and mind of men, that he would see the vengeance of the Lord of hosts upon them. What do you do with that? Many Christians and a lot of Christian ‘haters’ who charge many Christians for being not very Christ-like will probably be scratching their heads at this. They pick and choose what they like about the bible. Often times they speak from their ignorance of the bible. They don’t know what to do with this. Well to be honest, sometimes we don’t either.
But the truth is this, on the one hand Jesus lays down his life for his enemies. He shows them God’s great love for them but being the atoning sacrifice for their sins by being crucified, the lowest form of criminal punishment. He is despised by them and everyone else receiving in his flesh their shame and guilt so that they may live and he prays for their forgiveness. On the other hand, those who reject his act of mercy, those who will not repent against their rebellion against the Lord’s plan of salvation, those who will not accept him as their king after publication of the good news of his resurrection and ascension to the right hand of the Father, his vengeance remains on them and this prayer is directed against them. So you may receive mercy from Jesus if you accept him as king, but vengeance is upon everyone who dies rejecting him.
Heavenly Father, we pray that we may always look to your Son Jesus Christ as our king. We pray you would turn the hearts of all, but the particularly the Jews that they may accept Jesus as your Messiah and be rescued from the coming wrath of Jesus at his revelation. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.