"Just as man is destined to die once, and after that to face judgment, so Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many people" (Hebrews 9:27-28).
“The day is coming!” The Lord blesses earthly life with special days that are eagerly anticipated. Young children count down the number of days until Christmas. Spouses lovingly anticipate the celebration of a wedding anniversary.
In the final chapter of the Old Testament, the Prophet Malachi describes the most significant day in our future, the Last Day. But why should we eagerly anticipate that day which will burn like a furnace? How can we look forward to a day that will be filled with fire?
...To angry judgment
With vivid imagery, the prophet paints the sobering picture of the coming day of God’s just judgment. Malachi reminds us that the LORD is serious about sin—even our very own sin. The portrait of our sinful lives stands uncovered before the all-seeing eyes of the LORD Almighty. By nature, we are deserving of his eternal wrath that is surely coming on the Last Day.
... To wondrous joy
Yet the LORD Almighty is also the gracious and compassionate LORD. On that day our Savior, Jesus Christ, will return to rescue all who believe in him. He is the one who took away the sickness of sin and brought us the healing of his salvation. He exchanged God’s fiery judgment for the sunlight of God’s pardon through his death on the cross.
The Last Day will be a great and glorious day! We eagerly anticipate that day when the LORD will return. Yes, it will be a day filled with fire, fear and dread—but not for those who trust in the returning Savior. Through Jesus, our escape from God’s wrath is guaranteed. He promises the light and splendor of everlasting life in heaven to all who believe in him.
“Surely the day is coming!” We ponder the message with joy and expectation. Until that day comes, let us spend our days eagerly searching his Word for light and life. Let us also confidently share the good news of his approaching arrival with others.
Prayer: Dear Jesus, thank you for your sure promise of forgiveness for all my sins. Because of your forgiveness, I eagerly anticipate the sheer joy of your coming. Amen.