Second-Last Sunday Trinity Lutheran Church
19 November 2006 Murdock, NE
Through the prophet Daniel we get a glimpse of what will happen on the Last Day.
Look what happens. In the midst of wars, rumors of wars, nation battling it out against nation, terrorism on the streets and schools of Bagdad, threats of lobbing nuclear misles, battles for the new PS3, earthquakes, famines, a persecuted, belittled church, God, the Ancient of Days, the Eternal One, shows up. The only true God. Pharaoh said he was god. So did the other kings in the ancient world. A ruler named Antiochus who followed Alexander the Great called himself Epiphanes: the revelation of god. The Japanese emperor Hirohito of World War II infamy claimed to be god. Today, every person believes he/she is a god. Building their own kingdoms and utopias. Busy “saving” their lives but losing their souls.
And into this sin-drenched idolatrous world the Ancient of Days, the Eternal God who has no beginning and no end, yet who has revealed Himself through His Son in crib and cross, epiphanies Himself. On the Last Day. On that day all the false gods will be shown for what they really are: FALSE. Worthless.
On Judgment Day all will stand before the Ancient of Days. He is most holy. His robes are white as snow. His hair is as white as wool. He is enthroned on His flaming throne with wheels that burn. He can go or be anywhere. And if that’s not enough a blazing river of fire gushes and flows in front of His throne. This is serious stuff. When the most holy Ancient of Days sits on His throne He’s having Himself a court. It’s an authoritative, unlimited, royal court. And an unchallenged judgment will take place. There can be no objections to His judging.
The courtroom’s filled with all the angels, archangels, and all the company of heaven. All of heaven stands before the most holy Ancient of Days.
Then the court is seated. It’s in session. No messing around. Better pay attention. Then the books are opened. Evidence presented. Records read. And then the Judgment Day verdict. The Judgment Day courtroom verdict — rendered.
How will it go for you on that day? Will the sight of the most holy Ancient of Day’s gleaming white robes and hair blind you? Will the flames burn you up? Will you be toast on Judgment Day? What will the most holy Ancient of Days do with people like you and me?
Send us to hell? To everlasting damnation? That’s certainly what we deserve. And if you or I insist on being treated according to what we deserve, well, most holy Ancient of Days may just give you what you want — as your punishment. Let’s see.
The books are opened. What is written in the books? Your name!
Your name is there! What have you done to have your name written up? Must have been something pretty bad. But then again maybe it was something very good. In any event the Ancient of Day keeps accurate records because your name is there.
Why is your name in the books? Not there because of anything you’ve done or not done. It’s there because of what someone else has done for you. And because of what He’s done your name has been written down.
As a sinner? Yes, of course. As a sinner who deserves to go to hell? Yes, of course.
But there’s more. Your name’s there as a sinner who’s been died for. Who’s been Good Friday-ed. Who’s been washed in the Blood of the Lamb, Jesus Christ.
The most holy Ancient of Days insists on a judgment for you. It’s acquittal. It’s forgiveness. It’s salvation. Getting and receiving what you don’t deserve. As He reads from the books He sees that you’ve been holied, purified, and detoxed through the most holy Good Friday Body and Blood of Jesus offered into death for your sins. By your name, no doubt, is a blood-stained note that says: I died for John. I died for Norm. I died for Carlie. I died for La Verna. I died for Paige.
Jesus carried all your sin in His Body on the Cross. Willingly. For you. And for that He receives a Judgment Day judgment from the Ancient of Days. Damnation. “My God, my God, why have your forsaken me?” Damned on the Cross He is for you. No wonder the sky turns black. No wonder the earth quakes and the rocks split. No wonder the curtain in the temple tears in two. No wonder people come out of the graves alive.
All because Jesus, the Son of the Ancient of Days, suffers hell and damnation on that Good Friday. For you. For the forgiveness of all your sins. Now you’re baptized into that Good Friday death. And now today the Good Friday, Easter Sunday, and Ascension Day Body and Blood of Jesus for you to eat and drink.
So when the Last Day comes, don’t be surprised to hear your name read from the books. There’s no need to be afraid. Why? Because you’re forgiven. Because you’re holied by the Lamb’s holy Blood. That’s why your name’s in the Lamb’s book of life. No doubt He wrote it with His own bloody hands. What joy! Happy waiting for the Ancient of Day’s Judgment Day court. And when it comes happy rejoicing in Jesus your Savior.
In the Name of Jesus.