It’s been such an incredible day!? Thursdays are my day to stay home and write the sermon for Sunday. I’ve been studying “God’s judgment” in Revelation 14:13-20 all week long. Revelation 14:13-20 is not one of the “feel good” passages of God’s Word, but it is God’s Word. I’ve learnd so much about God’s judgment from my study. I’ve often thought this week about the countless times that I’ve been told by people that they struggle with the “God of wrath in the Old Testament” and how He fits with the “Jesus of grace in the New Testament.”??I understand what they mean, but I don’t agree.?Wrath and?forgiveness,?judgment and forgiveness are all throughout God’s Word.?We don’t like words like “wrath” and “judgment” because we know that we are guilty and our pride prevents us from owning up to what we have done.
God’s “wrath” and “judgment” are set alongside of His “grace” and “forgiveness” and if we ever try and separate the two we will morph God into something He is not. The tragedy of our times is that all too often in our society we see this mangled image of God as we try to make God more acceptable, more politically correct, more tolerable to an unbelieving society.
We have to remember that it was God’s justice, His judgment, that put Jesus on the cross. It was not Jesus’ sin that led Him to the cross, but mine. Because God is just there had to be justice. For God to wink His eye at my sin would make God less than just.? God did more than wink at my sin, He offered His Son to?right that which I had made wrong?by my sin. Isaiah wrote,8 “Come now, let us reason together,” says the LORD. “Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool.” (Isaiah 1:8 NIV)
I love Isaiah’s imagery. My sins are horrid. My failures have haunted me. I have quoted Paul’s words so often, “Why do I do what I don’t want to do and why do I fail to do that which I know I?should?”? Do those words ring a bell with you?? When we get real about who we are, how we have failed, and why we keep messing up in the same ways over and over again we can easily become overwhelmed with our guilt can’t we?? Sure we can.
The good news is this: though are sins are as scarlet they will be made as white as snow! What powerful words. Through the shed blood of our Savior our sins are covered like my backyard has been covered with a beautiful blanket of snow. I don’t see the “scars” in my yard, all I see is a beautiful, pure white blanket of what God has done throughout the day as I went about my business. This is what He has done for you and me as well. Our cleansing is not our work, it is God’s. Our forgiveness is not our work, it is God’s. All of God. I’m grateful for the “snow” of God’s grace is my life aren’t you?