Luke 12 verses 58 & 59. “As you are going with your adversary to the magistrate, try hard to be reconciled to him on the way, or he may drag you off to the judge, and the judge turn you over to the officer, and the officer throw you into prison. I tell you, you will not get out until you have paid the last cent.”
When Israel’s opposition to Jesus finally reached the point of arrest, trial and death, Jesus did not resist nor did he retaliate. But rather, according to 1 Peter 2 v 23, “he committed himself to the One who judges righteously.” This righteous judge finally raised Jesus from the dead and then sent forth the Holy Spirit in His name (John 16 vs 8-11) (Acts 2 v 36). This meant that the gospel of repentance and faith in Christ was preached to the very generation that crucified him. They were given more space to repent, but even so, they refused to do so. As a result, to quote 1 Thessalonians 2 v 16, “The wrath of God has come upon them at last”. Gentile armies overran Jerusalem in AD70 and the nation was scattered amongst the Gentiles. It would take the people who rejected Christ a long time to “pay the last cent” (12 v 59).
But we must move from national and temporal judgement to the responsibility of individual judgement on every human being, both Jew and Gentile. There is the strong possibility that for each and every human being, their individual case will one day enter the “Supreme Court” for a final hearing and then receive an eternal sentence. Our life’s journey will soon be over and according to Hebrews 9 v 27, after death comes the judgement. Using the analogy in chapter 12 v 58, we should try to settle matters with Christ as soon as possible before we reach the end of life’s journey, so that our own personal case never comes into that final court room.
Christ is not our enemy now, nor our adversary. He does not accuse us now in this life – that is the devil’s job. But He does stand as a witness against us because of our rejection of the Gospel. He tells us in John 7 v 7 that our deeds are evil. He is constantly inviting us to repent and partake of the salvation He alone provides. If we continue to reject him or ignore him then our refusal will come before the final judgement, and we are warned that the verdict cannot be anything but guilty. This final verdict will be eternal. Please take time to read John 3 verses 18 & 19 and also verse 36.
And how do we get things settled? He tells us very simply in John 5 v 24.
“I tell you the truth; whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be condemned: he has crossed over from death to life.”
In other words, your case will never come to court, if you trust in him. Sadly some people never take this step because they have never understood that it is possible to do so. But it is! Do it now.
Others never take this step because they see no need to do so and so they do not realise how bad their condition is. It is to people like these, who see no urgency about eternal matters, that our Lord’s next words are addressed. We will consider this tomorrow.