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Judgment Day

A modern feature of sporting events is “the instant replay.” Though it gets a bit tiresome to be shown the same highlight (or lowlight!) over and over again, especially if it is from last week’s game, they have become a feature we enjoy. I wonder how many games of backyard cricket have had the video set up to check any contentious decision?

Whilst the debate continues as to how much they should be used to guide or overturn the umpire’s decision, they do make available to us an added dimension as spectators. It serves to remind us that there will be a day when we will be no mere spectator but a participant in a global replay. The day of judgement will be such a day.

Can you imagine the scene when we have to face God? Imagine we are standing in line. The people in front of us have stood before God who has asked them what they have to say for themselves. They’ve muttered the words, which seemed so fashionable and even plausible on earth, “we’ve done our best”, “we’ve been good…”, and then to their horror God has not only taken them at their word but said “let’s have a look.” Then up on the screen of the vast sky the video of their life is played – thoughts, words, actions, things not done… for all to see…and God’s sober but chilling words …“not good enough, you didn’t respond to Jesus whom I sent… there is no room for you… I will give you what you’ve wanted, a life without me!”

And then it’s your turn and God asks you what have you to say for yourself. You are about to speak and you hear someone beside you speak up in your defence. It is Jesus, the One in whom you have been trusting for salvation! He reminds God that you put your trust in Him as your Saviour. You remember the words “we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the Righteous One.” Your heart lifts. Your video doesn’t even get mentioned or shown. In its place the video of Jesus perfect life and substitutionary death is played for all to see. He is your Saviour and He who you’ve honoured in life honours you. He has not had to plead extenuating circumstances or make up a story about your sins…no, He who is your advocate dealt with them when He died on the cross. And as your heart is filled with joy you hear God’s words, “welcome home, come on in.”

We are wise people if the highlight of our life, the message we speak most about, is the fact that we are trusting Jesus to save us. The death of Jesus and His bodily resurrection is the highlight of God’s game plan to bring salvation to all who will come. Every time we read the New Testament and gather with God’s people for worship we are reminded, just like an instant replay, of the most important play in history. And it was done for you and I, so that we need never be given out.