When we allow it to happen, the work that God does in the life of a believer and the life of the body of Christ is deep and lasting. Near the end of Jeremiah 33, God declares that the day will come when David’s son-the Messiah-will arrive and fulfill every promise he made to his people. The difference between this coming king and the kings Jeremiah has contended with is stark.
First of all, this King is legitimate. After a string of degenerates and half-wits, this King is the rightful heir of David and the unique God-Man among us.
“In those days and at that time I will cause a righteous branch to spring up for David.” (vs. 15)
God speaks this through his prophet at a time when the monarchy seems on the brink of extinction. The rightful king, Jehoiachin, is captive in Babylon and his uncle, Zedekiah, a puppet king set up by Babylon, sits on the throne. Add to this the fact that the exiles have begun and there seems to be no national hope at all.
Secondly, God’s King is a just king. Not only is he righteous and our righteousness, but he is a moral and upright ruler, as well.
“and he shall execute justice and righteousness in the land.” (vs. 15)
The way The Message puts it is that, “He will run this country honestly and fairly.” What more could an oppressed and battered nation of people want? It can be fairly said that much of the pain and suffering being endured by the masses came upon them because of their corrupt leadership. In stark contrast, God’s King is honest, fair, just, and righteous.
And when the King has come and completed his work, the result is a powerful change of name and character for the people:
“And this is the name by which it will be called, ‘The Lord is our righteousness’.” (vs. 16)
The successful and victorious work of the Messiah leads to a name change-at least, the kind of title that reflects a change. We have already seen that up to this point Judah’s character is clear-they are infamous for their corruption and rebellion. Judah is known for their character of sin (see 17:1). After God does his work, however, they are known for his character. Judah will be known for God’s righteousness.
Before Christ does his work in my life, I am a slave to my passions and corruption. I am by nature an enemy of God (Rom. 5:10, Col. 1:21). But after Christ does his victorious work in my life, I can be called by his name; I can be known for his character.
As a follower of Christ, I am not after my own goodness. A successful transformation occurs when the life and light of Christ is transplanted in me in place of my own brokenness. The life I live is not my own, but is Christ living in me. The Lord is our righteousness-Christ is my life.