Jesus, Our Judge

But who can endure the day of his coming? Who can stand when he appears? For he will be like a refiner’s fire or a launderer’s soap. ~Malachi 3:2

Most of us have grown up with the idea and picture of Jesus as a loving and benevolent friend that offers us only grace, mercy, and compassion. This image of Jesus is one of only love and forgiveness. These are certainly characteristics of our King but they do not paint the whole picture. John, the author of the book of Revelation, was perhaps Jesus’ closest disciple. Jesus called John his beloved disciple and even left the care of Mary in John’s hands when Jesus was on the cross. This same John that knew Jesus best as a close personal friend and loving mentor describes seeing Jesus in a vision of the last day when Jesus will stand as judge.

“… And when I turned I saw … someone like a son of man, dressed in a robe reaching down to his feet and with a golden sash around his chest. The hair on his head was white like wool, as white as snow, and his eyes were like blazing fire. His feet were like bronze glowing in a furnace, and his voice was like the sound of rushing waters. In his right hand he held seven stars, and coming out of his mouth was a sharp, double-edged sword. His face was like the sun shining in all its brilliance. When I saw him, I fell at his feet as though dead.” (Revelation 1:12-17)

Even John, arguably Jesus’ most dear disciple, fell as though dead at the feet of Jesus upon seeing him in his glory. We must never forget that, while it is true that Jesus is the very embodiment of love, He is also the very embodiment of holiness and justice.

Most people in western culture have a difficult time fathoming that there is anything on which for them to be judged. Our society tells us that all things are acceptable so long as we live lives better than those that we see on the news. But what if God really does have standards and expectations that surpass our own? What if He really has provided one, and only one, path to forgiveness? What if He had already told you all of this and you refused to listen? The truth is that Jesus will stand in judgment over all mankind. Are you certain that you are ready for that?

When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his glorious throne. All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. ~Matthew 25:31-32

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