9th March 2014

A Day of Departure 

“One died for all, and therefore all died. And he died for all that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again.”
2 Corinthians 5:14-15 (NIV UK)
 

Over 50 years ago now, President Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas, Texas. It was a day that shocked the world. Many can still remember exactly where they were when they heard the news. But did you know that November 22 also marks the passing of Aldous Huxley and C.S. Lewis? These three men died within hours of each other. As we look back at their departure, we are reminded of our own mortality. 

Hebrews tells us that: “Man is destined to die once, and after that the judgment” (Hebrews 9:27). 

That can sound a little threatening since we know that we’ve all fallen short. But judgment doesn’t necessarily imply condemnation. Earthly death is a kind of judgment in and of itself. And we know that not all who die are condemned. I think that judgment in this context indicates a ‘sorting out’ of the true nature of a person’s being. 

In this moment, standing before our judge, some may cling to life achievements. Clearly Kennedy, Lewis and Huxley made great contributions to our world. But on that final day, even their temporal works will be stripped away and we will stand before our Creator as fallen creatures, all equal—Presidents, Novelists and Humanists—all of us will be subject to death. 

But we are not without hope. The Bible tells us that Christ came into the world to take on our sins, as Paul wrote in the passage quoted above. 

Jesus’ death was vicarious—meaning that when he, our Creator died, the entire human race was laid in the grave with him. But the good news of the Gospel is that we were also raised with him, to a great hope—the hope of not only escaping the penalty of sin but also being reconciled to God. 

With that in mind, judgment doesn’t seem as scary. In Jesus we have an advocate with the Father, through the power of the Holy Spirit. He is the “One who died for all.” And he is the reason that none of us has to “get what we deserve.” Christ alone is the final basis for our eternal judgment. And that means we have hope in Jesus—our Great High Priest and Merciful Judge. 

Prayer
Holy Father, we stand naked and totally exposed before your righteous judgment, but, thanks to Jesus Christ, that becomes positive, rather than fearful. Thank you in Jesus’s name.
Amen
 

Study by Joseph Tkach

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joeandtammyAbout the Author:
Joseph Tkach is the President of Grace Communion International (the Denominational name of The Worldwide Church of God UK), and resides in California, USA.

You are welcome to attend one of our local Church congregations located throughout the UK.  For details of your nearest local congregation, check on our website, www.wcg.org.uk under the ‘Churches’ tab, or ring +44 (0)1858 437099.

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