Facing the Truth- the Last Judgment

Christ The King

Dan 7: 13-14; Rev 1: 5-8; John 18: 33b-37

By Deacon Larry Brockman


Do you belong to the truth?  Because Jesus says this morning that the reason he was born into the world was to bear witness to the truth, and that those who belong to the truth listen to His voice.

The people of this world are pre-occupied with power, not truth.  And so, Jesus’ own people did not accept Him.  They were looking for a leader, a King who would liberate them from the Romans, and make their lives easier.  They didn’t like the taxes; and they didn’t like being under pagan control.  They weren’t looking for a message of truth; they were looking for power and comfort.

Now because of His triumphant entrance into Jerusalem, the Romans were afraid Jesus would somehow work one of His miracles and fulfill the Messianic role in the way the people wanted: that Jesus would establish himself as King.  And so, we have the drama of this morning’s Gospel; a cat and mouse game where Pilate tries to get Jesus to say that He is a king so He has an excuse to execute Him.  But even to the very last, as He is standing before Pilate, Jesus emphasis is on His mission to bear witness to the truth, not to defend Himself or His life.

The dialog goes on beyond this morning’s Gospel, as Pilate asks the question:  “What is truth”?  Ah yes, what is truth.  The truth is what Jesus came to bear witness to!  So the truth is the Gospel, and the teachings of the Church.  The truth is not might makes right; and it is not what money buys; the truth is not taxes or a guaranteed life of comfort; it is not having control of the situation; truth is not relative; the truth is not a whole list of excuses for why we couldn’t or didn’t do something.  And the truth is not usually having our way.  Rather, the truth is what Christ bore witness to during His life; a life in which Jesus did the will of the Father, sacrificing His wants and needs for what God wanted of Him.

And what was that?  The Father wanted Jesus to tell us about Faith in God; keeping the commandments; and bearing our own crosses.  The Father wanted Jesus to show us that finding and doing His will was the essence of living a life pleasing to God.  Then, Jesus talked about a Kingdom not of this world where there would be eternal happiness, real happiness- not the happiness that power and money and the world bring, a happiness that passes away in a flash either because of age or sickness or circumstances.  Rather, it is a happiness in which we share in the Glory of God.

We hear about such glory in the first two readings.  We can share in that glory if we show by the lives that we lead that we are also witnesses for Christ, living a life worthy of our roles as sons and daughters of God.  In that way, we can assure that we will be part of the Kingdom.

Today is the end of the Church Year.  The second coming of Christ and the final judgment are the main themes in the first two readings.  The imagery is strong-  One like the Son of Man, a title that Jesus uses to describe himself, will come amongst the clouds.  People will be judged- separated into the sheep and the goats, and everything except the heavenly Kingdom will pass away.

That happens to each of us, doesn’t it, when we die.  Everything that we know of on earth passes away and we will be judged by Christ the King.  It’s a somber theme, and a sobering thought.  But it will happen to each of us.  Christ will be looking for the truth and we will not be able to hide from it.  What did we do for the least of our brethren?  Did we stand up for Christ when the going got rough?  Or did we run away, do what was convenient, do what was comfortable for each of us.

Now we are all very fortunate because today has come, and will soon be gone, and the end that Jesus warns us about this morning will not have come for almost all of us.  We are fortunate, because we have more time.  That is what Advent is all about- the next six weeks.  And while most of us will focus on the coming of the Baby Jesus. the second coming of Christ is heralded in Advent as well.  So let’s all take some time to reflect on the second coming.  What are the priorities in your life?  Are you ready if God takes you today?  Do you belong to the truth, and listen to the Word?

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