Salvation through judgment. This phrase sounds somewhat absurd when you think about it. We live in a culture that revolts against the idea of judgment. Our culture seems to think that the worst possible thing that could ever happen to them is that someone might judge them. And yet, I’m arguing that salvation comes through judgment? Yes. It does.
Jonah flees the presence of the Lord and finds himself in the midst of a ferocious storm while at sea. The pagan sailors aboard his storm-tossed ship are in great danger of experiencing the wrath of God, experiencing judgment. Don’t pity them though. They deserve the same judgment that Jonah deserves. They deserve death. As soon as the storm hits, these men begin praying to false gods (Jonah 1:5)! They are certainly not innocent. They are guilty of sin against the holy God, and they deserve to be lost at sea, as Jonah does.
Notice though, that as soon as they toss Jonah overboard, presumably to his death, the sea calms down. And for the moment, the pagan sailors are saved (Jonah 1:15). They are saved when Jonah is tossed to his death. They are saved when Jonah experiences God’s judgment. Salvation through judgment.
This is an early picture of the gospel of Christ. One man experiences judgment so that many might be saved (Romans 5:12-21). Remember Barabbas? A man who clearly deser