Mark 14:60-65 Psalm 2 Daniel 7:9-14, 26-27 July 28, 2013
Over the past decade we have watched countless videos of servicemen and women returning from Iraq and Afghanistan. The soldiers, sailors, and Marines have surprised their children and spouses in a number of imaginative ways. There have been reunions at the child’s school, before thousands at sporting events. There have even been videos of pets that get to see their masters after a lengthy deployment.
But we haven’t seen anything yet! When Jesus Christ returns, everybody will know who it is. It won’t be a surprise. It is going to be a scene that we have never seen before. But all of the world will know that it is Jesus Christ who has returned. Some of us are going to be happy to see Jesus Christ. Some of us will not be happy about seeing Jesus Christ. A 4th Century theologian, Athanasius, tells us in the creed named for him: “whence he will come to judge all living and dead: at whose coming all men will rise again with their bodies, and will render an account of their deeds; and those who have behaved well will go into eternal life, those who have behaved badly to eternal fire.”
Is there a way that we can be ready for when Jesus Christ comes to judge the living and the dead? We know Jesus shall return. He said that he would. We know that Jesus Christ will judge all people. Again, he said he would, but love and justice also demands it.
- Jesus shall return (Mark 14:60-65)
- The High Priest was trying to get Jesus to admit a blasphemy so they could put him to death (14:55)
- Jesus admitted that he was the Messiah!
- Called himself the “Son of Man”
- Seated at the right hand of the Power
- “Coming with the clouds of heaven”
– Zechariah 14:5 – tells of the Lord God coming!
- Other Scriptures tell of Jesus’ return
- Matthew 25:31-46 – He comes in his glory
- John 14:3 – He will come to take us where he is
- Yes, Jesus will be here on earth again. We know that it will be a glorious time when Jesus Christ returns. Notice the setting that he mentions his return; it is while he is before the High Priest being judged! It is ironic that when he returns, Jesus will be the one doing the judging. Whom shall Jesus Christ be judging?
- Jesus shall judge the living and the dead (Psalm 2, Daniel 7:9-14)
- God judges our actions (Gen. 3:14ff, Jonah 3)
- His wrath will come (Psalm 2:10-11)
- The Ancient of Days sits in judgment (Daniel 7:10)
- Jesus receives dominion over all (Daniel 7:13-14)
- The Father has given this to Jesus (John 5:22)
- Peter recalled that Jesus told them he is to judge the living and the dead (Acts 10:42)
- Paul attests this fact (Romans 14:9)
- Jesus is going to judge the living and the dead. He has been both. Since he is no longer dead, he has the ability to judge both. That is coupled with the power that God the Father has given him. So, we are to live as Christ lived. We know that “non-Christian living is a slow process of suicide.” So what chance do we stand when Jesus judges the living and the dead?
- Our freedom and responsibility is coupled with God’s love & justice
- God has given us freedom to live how we want
- God has given us responsibility for creation, and each other! (Genesis 1 & 2)
- God comforts his people (Isaiah 66:13) – love
- Jesus tells us how to live (Matthew 25:31-46) -justice
- As we believe in Jesus Christ, His Holy Spirit lets us know that we are his (Romans 8:12-17)
- Jesus has staked his claim in our lives. As we continue to follow him, then more of our lives show Jesus Christ is our Lord. One way in which we show Jesus in our lives is worship. “How may one prepare for the final judgment? Each time one receives the Eucharist, the memory of Christ’s death is being kept until he comes. The faithful have Christ’s own word that he will raise them up on the last day if they share in his body and blood by faith.” Is that how we are living now?
We need not be surprised when Jesus Christ comes. He said he would come. He even let us know how we are to be found. We serve other people and therefore serve Jesus Christ. In order for us to escape condemnation, the judgment of eternal fire, then we are to follow Jesus Christ.
I want you to be ready for when Jesus Christ returns. Get baptized in the Name of Jesus Christ. Live the life that Jesus Christ is directing you to live, a life of serving the least of these. Then when Jesus Christ does return, he will give you eternal life.
 Thomas C. Oden, Life in the Spirit, (HarperSanFranscisco, 1992), p. 398.
 John A. Ross, This We Believe, (Abingdon Press, Nashville; 1966), p. 112.
 Oden, Life In the Spirit, p. 441