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The Lamb Wins (abc)

[Jesus Christ speaking to his 11 disciples the night before his crucifixion…] If I do not go away, the Advocate will not come to you. But if I go, I will send him to you. And when he comes he will convict the world of (a) sin and (b) righteousness and (c) judgment; (a) concerning sin, because they do not believe in me; (b) concerning righteousness, because I go to the Father, and you will see me no longer; (c) concerning judgment, because the ruler of this world is judged.  John 16: 7-11


We rightly consider that the final pre-death statements of a human being are important. The words in bold above are some of the last words of Jesus Christ – spoken a few hours before he was executed.


He tells his 11 closest followers that the Advocate (the “Holy Spirit”) will come and will convict the world. Convict, in the original Greek, is similar to “convince” but with the addition of “against the will” (of the convicted person).


How strange, then, are these last words of Jesus. Let’s put them all into Jersey in 2011 AD.


First, let’s test the concept as a general principle. Can it be a fact that men and women are convicted (about anything) but fail to act on that conviction? Can it be that Jersey folk are convicted (about anything) but actually fight against it and do all in their power to avoid it?


I am convicted that I am overweight. I know it. I’m unhappy about it. Does my conviction inevitably lead to dietary restraint? What has got in the way of my conviction and precluded action on my part? Yes, self-interest.


Perhaps most obvious of all, I am convicted about the hungry, ill, suffering and starving children in our world. But what do I actually do....?


Second, what about the above three things that Jesus said that “the world” (including Jersey folk AD 2011) would be convicted about? Is it?


The (a) (above) was that they would be convicted of “sin” because they would not believe in Jesus. Yes, they would know that he went to a criminal’s execution and an ostracised death for others – and know, deep down, that he rose from the dead to give life to those others. But no more. They would only be convicted. Nothing more. No change. No action.


The (b) above was that they would be convicted of “righteousness” because they would see clearly the fact of Jesus’ “righteousness” because, Jesus having been killed by the unrighteous judgments of two Courts, his Father would overturn those judgments and he would “go to the Father” and they “would see him no longer”. Yes, they would be convicted of Jesus’ total innocence and righteousness. But no more than that. Why no change?


The (c) above was that they would be convicted of “judgment” (to come) because they would see clearly (through the Advocate) that “the ruler of this world is judged”. We know that the rulers in the Courts that convicted Jesus of capital crimes must have been “convicted” and “judged” when they saw that he willingly died for others and when he rose. But were they (are we) convicted because “the ruler (singular) of this world is judged”? 


Was there a “ruler” above the politico-religious Sanhedrin members? Was there a “ruler” above Pilate, the Roman politico-military supremo in Jerusalem? We know that self-interest motivated all of these. That, at least, was above them all. That ruled them. Maybe the ruler of this world absorbs people in self-interest. “The ruler of this world [was] judged.” Is that true? Yes, because this executed Jesus who rose from the dead was in fact a self-denying, self-effacing, totally self-giving man. “The ruler’s” opposite.


Are you convicted (abc)? It’s not at all surprising if, being convicted, you do nothing about it. Why do I say that? Self-interest, of course. Self-interest over-rides all conviction.


The “ruler of this world” enticed the Jerusalem folk of AD 33 to murder Jesus by binding them in their own self-interest. Because that same ruler operates in that same way with AD 2011 Jersey folk they make every effort to do away with Jesus - despite being convicted concerning (a)(b)(c).

‘Conviction is not change. It is one thing to be awakened at five o’clock in the morning, but it is another thing to get up.” (Anon.).
‘The method of the evil one is to obscure himself behind some other object of worship.” (G Campbell Morgan, Preacher and Pastor, 1863-1945)
Richard Syvret

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