Seminary Viewpoints

How Much of God’s Wrath Did Jesus Absorb?

March 26, 2019
Video Interviews

Sam Horn: I have in the studio with me Dr. Jason Ormiston, who is one of our Bible faculty members that teach in the School of Religion and Seminary and also is the pastor of Palmetto Baptist Church. Jason, it is a delight to have you here. I know you’ve preached in your church on the book of Revelation, but you recently preached in our series “Return of the King.” You preached a sermon on the wrath of God, and I was very, very interested in asking you a question related to that sermon. The question I think would be of interest to our audience and really to me personally is, “As you talk about the wrath of God, particularly as you talk through the book of Revelation, how much of God’s wrath did God absorb through the atonement that Jesus made on the cross and how does that relate to me personally?”

Jason Ormiston: Sure. Great question. So, in response to that, I would say that the wrath of God was totally absorbed on the cross, and that’s a reason for us to greatly rejoice. In saying that, he still reserves wrath for the final day, and it is in that final day that the world will feel the full brunt of his wrath. His wrath is righteous indignation poured out on all unbelievers, and he poured out that righteousness indignation on the cross. When he did that–I found it very interesting to study through Revelation 16. You’re dealing with the different types of judgments. You have your sealed judgments, trumpet judgments, and bowl judgments. We get into chapter 16, and he pours out all seven bowls. When you start to study them through you have the connection to bowl one being the harmful, painful sores in verse 2, and then in verse 3, you have the water turned into blood–the blood of the corpse. In bowl three (verse 4), rivers and streams turn to blood. In verses 8-9 (this is in chapter 16), you’ve got scorching from the sun. And then bowl five you have total darkness.

And it was when I got into understanding–the Euphrates River being dried up in bowl six–but the last one when it said, “It is done” (Rev 16:17). When it said, “It is done,” it made me think, “Where else have I heard that?” And it reminded me of on the cross when Jesus Christ said, “It is finished.” And I started to make the connection between all of the wrath of God poured out on the world–and that’s God intent–has been poured out on Jesus Christ on the cross. So if you actually work your way back from the “it is finished” and include–here are a couple things that I just noted–in John 19:30 he said, “It is finished” and then there is an earthquake in Matthew 27:51-54; the Euphrates drying up and you have at crucifixion Jesus Christ saying “I thirst” (John 19:28); total darkness is mentioned in Revelation 16 and in Matthew 27:45 we know there was total darkness on the cross; and then you have the exposure of the heat from the sun in Revelation 16:8-9 and in Mark 15:24-25 you have the same exposure–naked and exposed to the sun that those who are feeling the full weight of God’s wrath experience on this earth; and then you have the rivers and springs turn into blood and then Jesus scourged in what he experienced in that; you go all the way down through bowl two, Jesus in the garden with the water turned into blood.

Now, this is where you start to say, “Is there a perfect match?” No, not a perfect match. But a close match, enough for me to feel comfortable as you get into bowl one–the harmful, painful sores and Jesus was beaten–to say Jesus bore the full weight of God’s wrath. But it also tells us that he is reserving this wrath for unbelievers at the end. So we must wake up and respond to the appeals throughout the book of Revelation to repent and to turn to Jesus Christ, who is our King and who is our answer.

Horn: Jason, thank you. That was a great answer, and I’m just glad, even as I heard the answer, that Jesus Christ took my wrath and your wrath and paid for it. And he makes that forgiveness available to anybody who will repent. Let me encourage you to listen to the sermon; it is posted on our chapel sermon series, “Return of the King.” Again, thank you for listening.