Daily Archives: November 8, 2020
The Lord sets the prisoners free;
8 the Lord opens the eyes of the blind.
The Lord lifts up those who are bowed down;
the Lord loves the righteous.
9 The Lord watches over the strangers;
he upholds the orphan and the widow,
but the way of the wicked he brings to ruin.
10 The Lord will reign forever,
your God, O Zion, for all generations.
Praise the Lord!
Hebrews 9:24-28 (NRSV)
24 For Christ did not enter a sanctuary made by human hands, a mere copy of the true one, but he entered into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God on our behalf. 25 Nor was it to offer himself again and again, as the high priest enters the Holy Place year after year with blood that is not his own; 26 for then he would have had to suffer again and again since the foundation of the world. But as it is, he has appeared once for all at the end of the age to remove sin by the sacrifice of himself. 27 And just as it is appointed for mortals to die once, and after that the judgment, 28 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.
“Christ…will appear a second time…to save those who are eagerly waiting him” (Hebrews 9:28)
November marks the final month in the Church year, a time when we reflect on death, the Second Coming of Christ, and the life that is to come. In his first coming, Jesus entered the world humbly, as a child. But his return will be much different. This time, he will come in glory as Judge and Ruler.
The Old Testament prophets foretold “new heavens and a new earth” (Isaiah 65:17). Isaiah prophesied that when the Messiah comes in glory, the whole earth will be made new. There will be no fighting between people or nations. Evil will be destroyed; peace will reign. “The wolf shall dwell with the lamb,” and perfect peace will reign (Isaiah 11:6).
In the New Testament, the Book of Revelation gives us an even richer set of images. John tells us, “I saw a new heaven and a new earth” and “the holy city” (Revelation 21:1, 2). He saw a place where God “will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there shall be no more death or mourning, wailing or pain” (21:4). Such a beautiful description would make nay of us long to see the kingdom come!
Instead of trying to push aside any thoughts about death and dying, let’s treasure passages like these. Let’s welcome the thought of one day being with Jesus, and let’s eagerly await his coming. There will always be a fearful element in the thought of death, and our fear of the unknown may never go away completely. But fear doesn’t have to control us. We worship a God who is faithful and merciful.
Scripture promises, “If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved” (Romans 10:9). This is a free gift from God (Ephesians 2:8). So let’s embrace this gift, and look forward to our heavenly hom.
Jesus, I believe in you! Fill my heart with a longing for heaven. Amen.