It is appointed for men to die once and after this comes judgment. Every birthday is one day closer to deathday. The candles are finally blown out by your final breath. It is the point of no return.
But it is not really a point. Day by day, moment by moment, we are dying. Even the common cold is a reminder that one day we'll lie cold within the earth. As for the days of our life, they contain 70 years, or if due to strength, 80 years, yet their pride is but labor and sorrow, for soon it is gone and we fly away.
We fly away to the judgment seat of God. There we shall appear before the One who knows all, before whom nothing is hidden. Do you really think you can conceal anything from Him?
He who created the eye—has He not seen your every greedy gaze, your every lustful look?
He who formed the ear—has He not listened to every lie and hateful word you’ve spoken?
He who shaped the hands—do you think He is ignorant of thieving hands, lazy hands, hands bloody from violence and back-stabbing?
Yes, He knows all—not only the sins you remember and are ashamed of, but also those you have forgotten. Even those you never knew you committed.
On what will you rely in that day?
Those on trial in human courts – who truly are innocent – rely on the evidence to prove their lack of guilt. The guilty rely on ambiguities in the evidence, the skill of their attorneys, loopholes in the law, and whatever else they can use to get a Not Guilty verdict.
But both these approaches are hopeless before the almighty bar of justice. You are not innocent, but guilty. And there's a mountain of indisputable evidence to prove that. There are no loopholes in the law, nor is there a “dream team” of lawyers to get you off the hook.
Whom shall you be like in that day? You'll be like the unjust steward in that weird parable Jesus told.
He was caught red-handed, this steward, wasting his master’s goods. He'd soon be out of a job. Too weak to dig, too ashamed to beg, he acted shrewdly to plan for his future. Calling in his master’s debtors, he reduced their bills—from 100 to 50 measures of oil, from 100 to 80 measures of wheat. So pleased would these renters be that, when the steward was fired, they’d receive him into their homes.
But what about the rich man, this steward’s boss? Once he discovered that his employee had messed with the books, couldn’t he change them back? And couldn't he have the steward arrested, tried, and jailed for his misdeeds? He could have, of course, but that is precisely the point. He did not. Quite the opposite, he commended the steward because he had dealt shrewdly.
The unjust steward banked on the mercy of his master. For not only the steward, but the master as well would have appeared good and gracious in the eyes of the renters for lowering the amount they owed. When found guilty before his master, the steward turned back to the master himself. This man’s compassion and generosity were his only hope for the future. His judge became his savior.
And so it is with us. We have only one hope when we stand before the Judge: the Judge Himself. “The Father judges no man, but has committed all judgment to the Son.”
But this Son to whom the Father has committed all judgment, who is He? The very one delivered up for our sins. “For God so loved the world that He gave His only-begotten Son,” not to judge the world but that the world might be saved through Him.
Our hope is not that we are better than others.
Not that God winks at our wrong-doing.
Not that our good deeds outweigh our misdeeds.
Our hope is in the very One who sits in judgment upon us.
@@He who sits on the judgement throne is the very one nailed to the saving cross.@@
He who created the eye and has seen all you’ve done
—His are the eyes that closed in death and opened in resurrection life, that they might look upon you as the apple of His eye.
He who formed the ear and has heard all you’ve said
—His are the ears that are open to your cry, that will not hear the accusations of the devil, that are deaf to anything said evil of you.
He who made your hands and has seen all they've mishandled—
His are the hands held in place by the spikes,
the hands which scooped up water to bathe away your iniquity,
the hands that place within your mouth His own blood and flesh,
the hands upon which your name is inscribed.
He knows all. But more importantly, He knows that you are His.
Sin cannot condemn us because the sinless One has already been condemned for us.
The devil cannot accuse us, because he has already been judged.
The law cannot curse us because Jesus has become a curse for us.
“Who shall bring any charge against God’s elect?
It is God who justifies. Who is to condemn?
Christ Jesus is the One who died—more than that, who was raised—who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us?”
Our Judge is our intercessor. Our Brother, Priest, Savior, and Friend is the One before we shall stand. We have nothing to fear. It is appointed for men to die once, and after this comes judgment. And after judgment, come the words, “Welcome, blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world."
"Welcome, unjust steward, justified by Me."