June 26, 2014

The Final Judgment

Zechariah 3:1-4

We must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ.
—2 Corinthians 5:10


When Jesus comes again, you and I will find ourselves standing before the judgment seat of God to give an account of how we have lived (Romans 14:12). And all of us deserve a “guilty” verdict, because, as Paul puts it, “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). None of us would stand a chance of being acquitted, except for one thing: We have an advocate, someone who speaks to the Father in our defense—“Jesus Christ, the Righteous One” (1 John 2:1).

Zechariah gives us a glimpse behind the scenes to show us what happens when we stand before God’s judgment seat. The high priest, Joshua, is standing before the Lord, dressed in filthy clothes, a symbol of the sinfulness of even the most religious human being. Satan is also standing there to accuse him. There is nothing Joshua can say to defend himself.

The Lord, however, rebukes Satan and says, “Is not this man a burning stick snatched from the fire?” Then the Lord gives Joshua clean garments and says, “I have taken away your sin.”

The only way you and I can escape God’s judgment is to have the Lord Jesus take our sin upon himself and speak up in our defense. The only thing we must do is believe in him, because “whoever believes in him is not condemned” (John 3:18). The Lord Jesus wants to be our defense, and he’s our only hope. Believe it!

Lord Jesus, thank you for speaking up in our defense so that we may have eternal life. Amen.

About the author — Arthur J. Schoonveld

Rev. Art Schoonveld is a retired minister in the Christian Reformed Church. Before retiring in 2001, he served churches in California, Illinois, and Michigan. Since his retirement he has worked part-time for the denomination and has served as an interim pastor. Art and his wife, Anita, have four children and nine grandchildren.

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