My Thoughts. . .
Most people do not visualize themselves meeting Jesus in the first century. If there is any thought, it relates to him being seen after our death. Some see a stern Jesus eyeing them as a critic and pointing out every flaw. He displays no smile. A frown is his only greeting. One sees judgment in his eyes and a wrath ready to explode from his speech. His countenance is brilliant, not as a mark of beauty, but as a sign of condemnation. One falls, not on his knees, but on his face, waiting for those terrible words, “Depart from me. . . I never knew you!”
Few expect a smile from Jesus because of our failed and feeble attempts to be perfect. Some hope their efforts to be “good” will measure out to 70 or 80%, but truthfully know zero will be their reality. If one’s hope was founded upon “gap insurance,” where Jesus’ grace would fill that “small” needed breach, that emotion vanishes into hopelessness. That view succeeds in leaving one’s self-righteousness totally naked. Such an individual surrenders to a fearful wait for judgment which holds nothing more than darkness and gnashing of teeth. Seeing Jesus face to face is not that person’s number one wish.
That probably is closer to the vision some people think will happen after their death. No doubt that will be a true insight for those mentioned by the Hebrew writer (10:38-39 – “draw back to perdition.”
Some believe at the judgment Jesus will reveal every sin one has committed, from the first to the last. This might be so if not for the statement in Hebrews 10 which says, “Their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more” (v. 17). God is an excellent forgetter! His is a lot better at it than we are. Jesus did not remind the adulteress woman of her sin (John 8:1-11). Neither did he remind Peter of his vulgar denials (John 21:15-19). How can past sins be introduced when God has forgiven and forgotten them? Not only that, but how can one have sins that God has already cleansed with the blood of Jesus? Sadly, some consider their sins more potent than the cleansing power of Jesus’ sacrifice. Jesus will not be a distraught individual who hates welcoming people into a place which he died to prepare (John 14:1-4). He will demonstrate his love with a gracious spirit to those who have responded to the payment he made for their salvation (John 3:16; 1 Corinthians 6:19-20). It will be a happy and glorious day which he planned thousands of years ago. In our assemblies we sing those songs about heaven, but we may have deep-seated views causing us to sing off key. So, how do you see Jesus?