Monday, August 1, 2011

eagerly awaiting my appointment

And just as it is appointed for man to die once, and after that comes judgment, so Christ, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time, not to deal with sin but to save those who are eagerly waiting for him.
Hebrews 9:27-28

By facing down the fate of all mortal men, Jesus secured for us the deliverance from that worst that death brings. Jesus willingly gave Himself as our sacrifice. This was absolutely necessary to secure our salvation. And Jesus did this as both priest and as sacrifice for sins. He did this to provide final redemption for us. Our lives are no longer imperiled by sin when we come to Him as our Savior.

Jesus' entire mission was about this commitment to "deal with sin" as the test says here. He came as the clear and decisive solution to the sin problem. We know there is no other way to settle the wrongs that we do. We must trust in the work of Jesus on the cross. It is there that sin was atoned. It was there and only there that death has finally died.

But there is more to the work of Jesus than just securing salvation from eternal damnation. He also came to save us in time. And there is a time coming when He was save those who eagerly wait for Him, whether that time is at the end of their mortal lives, or in His physical return. This is in correlation to the first part of the passage. The flow of thought in verses 27-28 looks something like this:
Man ==> dies ===> goes into judgment.
Jesus ==> sacrificed ==> saves from judgment, comes to execute judgment

Thinking about future judgment before God is very far from most men's minds. I have only seen this really processed by the dying. And they know that when they are in Christ, deliverance is the focus. Their mortal bodies experience death, but their souls know a peace and a deliverance in Jesus. The worst death could offer has been taken away. And Jesus as Savior is a very real strength to face mortality.

The reason the call to proclaim this exists is that there are many people who are going to be under the judgment their sins deserve. It is the fate of all people who do not trust Christ. They dread this certain appointment: death and judgment. They do have a Savior. They need to know and trust Him because they are appointed to die. But once they trust Christ and receive His forgiveness, they are appointed to eagerly await their future with Him! Amen!

- Prepare your minds for action.
1 Peter 1:13

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