“Then Jesus cried out, “Whoever believes in me does not believe in me only, but in the one who sent me.The one who looks at me is seeing the one who sent me.I have come into the world as a light, so that no one who believes in me should stay in darkness.“If anyone hears my words but does not keep them, I do not judge that person. For I did not come to judge the world, but to save the world.There is a judge for the one who rejects me and does not accept my words; the very words I have spoken will condemn them at the last day. For I did not speak on my own, but the Father who sent me commanded me to say all that I have spoken. I know that his command leads to eternal life. So whatever I say is just what the Father has told me to say.” John 12:44-50
I grew up as a highly competitive gymnast. You compete before a judge who gives you a score based on your performance. They write down ever little mistake you make. Similarly in school you are graded on everything. Every test, every project, even your behavior is judged. Our world has rules, laws, guidelines we must follow. You break these laws you are held accountable. Similarly people are instinctively judgmental. Some people more than others but I have never meet a person that did not struggle with being judgmental in some aspect or another.
Similarly in the history of the church there has been much judgment. People are told they are sinners and will be condemned to hell. Christians have used this fear factor for many generations to get people to “repent and come to Jesus.” The result is many walk away from Jesus rather than embracing him.
When we as humans comes to terms with our sin, when we realize the magnitude of our mistake we often feel guilt, shame, remorse and a fear of judgment. But Jesus did not come and die on a cross to judge you. He came and died for you to save you. He took the judgement on your behalf. He came to pull you out of your prison so that you can walk in light and life. The world chains us. Our sin chains us. We are all held prisoner. But Jesus came to liberate you. He came to break those chains. Take his hand for he is full of love, joy, hope, gentleness, kindness, forgiveness and freedom. He is the light to your darkness. Amen