And this is the message I proclaim—that the day is coming when God, through Christ Jesus, will judge everyone’s secret life. (NLT)
The writer Adrian Plass once described his early view of God as being a cross between a headmaster and a bank manager. And Plass saw himself at a cross between a truant and someone with an impossible overdraft. Such is the image of a severe God just itching to give us a reprimand.
But it remains true that this God is our judge. He does assess all we do and say and think and feel. He knows the darkest shadows of our lives. He is not at all an easy going sentimentalist. He doesn’t just shrug his shoulders at our wrongdoing.
What we need to remember is that the one who judges us is the one who came to rescue us from condemnation. My judge is also my saviour. My judge has endured my own death sentence for me. My judge has dealt with my estrangement from God. My judge loves me to the limit and beyond.
In Jesus, just judgement and loving mercy are merged. The one who judges us is the same one who loves us most fully.