It’s a fine day. You’ve just returned from work and find a courier by your door. It’s half past his working hours but he insists. You reach out and sign the delivery. The top of the envelop reads “REGISTERED MAIL”, then your eyes trail down to see an unfamiliar return address underlined with “Attorneys at law”. Your heart skips a beat. You manage to mumble your thanks as he retreats from your doorway. As you head inside, you gently pry the letter open. You read. You re-read. A letter from the lawyer. Now what?
Now this shouldn’t be that foreign a feeling. A letter specifically addressed to our future is in the book of Revelations. Chapter 20, starting from verse 11. There will be a great white throne, and one will sit on it. There, there is no darkness because light has come on the stage. There, there is no place to hide. Everyone, including the dead — both great and small, president or beggar, your employer and your neighbour — take turns to attend to the court hearing of their lives.
The books will be opened, including the Book of Life. Our deeds. Our thoughts. All that will make your loved ones proud. All the uncool nonsense that you vow to yourself to keep secret from even your best of friends. You await your sentence. Your mind flashes through to bring you even the faintest trace of a memory of an unresolved hurt, and perhaps a nasty thought you allowed to go wild in your palace of imagination. You think of ways to plead your case. But it will not be long before you realise the futility of it all when you witness that person you looked up to receive his sentence.
He who had everything going for him has his name called. He faces the jury from his the witness box. He is asked to take an oath to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. It’s his turn to make the pitch for his life. He stands speechless. No excuse reaches his mouth. He pleads guilty. He has nothing more to say in defence. His name is not in the Book of Life. It’s settled — he is headed to the lake of fire. That day of judgement, God is addressed as ‘Your Honour’. He is judge. He is just. He is not mocked. It’s a grave day when we try to redeem ourselves by our deeds, tainted some way or another.
We really don’t understand the cross if we don’t understand what is going to come in the future.
Sometimes we need this time machine forwarding to the Judgement Day so that we can make a proper decisions while we can.
This Chinese New Year, we wear red to celebrate. But besides symbolising prosperity, red really symbolises blood. The blood of that Somebody who took that verdict for us. You and I are supposed to die the moment our first father, Adam, sinned, but by His one act of obedience, all of us are made righteous. You are an accused, but Jesus bails you out. He redeems you with the price of His blood. And his blood heals — you become whole again.
On that Judgement Day, when it comes your turn, you can declare: Let the redeemed of the Lord say so! That I am redeemed! The bench clerk ushers you to pass without trial. The very fact is that you were already set free the moment you responded to the Great Mediator, the greatest of lawyers. He got you covered on all ends by first pointing you to the blood.
Here’s your rude awakening. If the news has cut you, it is not to destroy you, but to tell you that you need a saviour. The good news is that the hardest part has already been dealt with. He had died on the cross for you.
The sound decision you can make is to repent. To apply the blood, you need faith. And once you go in faith, you’re covered. There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ, Jesus, who walks not after the flesh but after the spirit. You are free.