Christ Shall Come Again
Last week we spent some time talking about what it meant that Christ was the head of the church. We talked about the different names used for our Lord and Savior throughout the scriptures. Today we will dig a little deeper to understand a little more about what it means that Christ is our head. It is all well and good to talk about Christ being our head and king, but what does that mean for us now? As we go through our lives we have joys and struggles, wins and losses that we deal with every day. Some of them are simple, like making it through rush hour traffic without getting angry or failing to keep your cool and yelling at all the cars around you. These are trivial things in the grand scheme of things. On the other hand, there are other things we deal with that are not so simple. Like losing a loved one to a car crash, finding out that someone you know has been abused, or being personally attacked. These are hard things to recover from and they test us. It makes us ask the question if God is really king, where is the justice?
Take a Wider View
When we look at the scripture we are confronted over and over with the truth that God is the judge of all the earth. For example, when Abraham is talking to the Lord in Genesis 18, he asks the rhetorical question "Shall not the Judge of all the earth do what is just?" (Gen 18:25). That is what our catechism question deals with today. It asks;
"What comfort is it to thee that “Christ shall come again to judge the quick and the dead”? (Q. 52).
The idea here is to take a longer view of things. We are so impatient about everything. The more technology grows and the faster things get the more impatience we get. I can think of times when I have had to stop and think about this because I was upset that something that amazon was shipping would take longer than two days. While I'm not that old yet I do remember when email first became a thing. How instant communication was seen as a blessing and there was wonder at it. Now we get upset and angry if someone takes more than a couple of minutes to respond to our text message. Someone promises us something and we expect it to happen right away. We expect God to be on our timeline, to do things when we want them as if we were the judge. But he is not on our time schedule, we are on his.
Where is our Comfort?
God has never broken his word. He has kept all his promises and will keep them still. The answer to our question points us to some of these promises;
"That in all my sorrows and persecutions, with uplifted head I look for the very same person, who before offered himself for my sake, to the tribunal of God, and has removed all curse from me, to come as judge from heaven: who shall cast all his and my enemies into everlasting condemnation, but shall translate me with all his chosen ones to himself, into heavenly joys and glory." (A. 52)
He has promised that there will be justice. That all our persecutions and sorrows will be accounted for. It also reminds us that we have a savior who has paid the debt we owe. This is important to remember. We who are in Christ deserve the same as those who are not, but Christ gave himself for us. We get upset at the sinfulness of others, we get impatience with God, thinking that he should bring his justice now, forgetting that we deserve his justice. This is where a forgiven spirit starts, where a patient spirit starts. I know what I deserve and yet I have been shown mercy.
Bringing it Together
In those times that you think about all the injustice in the world when bad things happen to your or those around you, do you stop and think about the grace that you have been shown in the gospel? Do you remember that Christ offered himself for my sake? Or do you skip straight ahead to demanding things of God and wishing for the destruction of your enemies? If our first thought is the gospel, it breeds patience. It is hard to be angry at the world around you when you know that "but for the grace of God, there go I." "The Lord has promised good to me, His Word my hope secures. He will my Shield and Portion be, as long as life endures." On that last day, Christ will sit in judgment over all the earth. All our pains and sorrows will be washed away and made right. And yet if we are in Christ we will not receive what we deserve, but will instead receive grace unending, amazing grace, grace unearned and undeserved. We will be brought to Heaven where joy will be unending. Can you not be patient for a little while? Can you not do the work that he has provided for you while you have the time? Will you not trust the judge of all the earth to do what is right?
Soli Deo Gloria