For we must all appear before the judgement seat of Christ, that each one may receive what is due him for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad.
2 Corinthians 5:10
A few years ago, I had my only run in with the law – to date! It was a very minor incident, so please don’t think I’m about to tell you anything particularly exciting! I was driving out of London heading to Sussex on the A23, when I appear to have inadvertently entered a bus lane. I didn’t even realise I had done it until a week or so later, I got a letter telling me I had to pay a fine, with a picture of my car in a bus lane! It seemed pretty conclusive. I had broken the law, so I paid the £60 fine and tried to forget my first motoring offence. That’s how the law operates in most countries – if you break the law, you take the punishment. Provided the laws are just, it’s a fair system that for the most part works very well.
In today’s verse, we see that we are all to appear before Jesus Christ to account for our actions. The Bible lays down the code that we should live by, and, since the code is fair and just, we must be prepared to pay the consequences if we do not live by it. If we have done bad things whilst “in the body,” we will have to account for those actions to Jesus when the day of judgement comes. Jesus will also judge us for all the good things that we have done – the instances of when we have followed the code God has given us.
This might seem to present a rather bleak picture. We all fall short of God’s expectations. We all disobey him, and break his rules and laws. As a consequence, we might expect to be punished for our actions. As Christians, however, if we accept Jesus is our saviour, he has taken that punishment for us. When we stand before Jesus on judgement day, we can stand firm in the knowledge that whilst we are not worthy to approach God on our own merits, because of the death and resurrection of Jesus, we can do so.
Give thanks today that in Jesus we have a fair judge. Praise God even more, though, that Jesus has paid the price for our sin, and taken the punishment that we deserve in our place.