Finding Comfort in Heidelberg
Perhaps the most comforting passage in the Heidelberg Catechisms' second section is Q&A 52: “How does Christ’s return “to judge the living and the dead” comfort you? A. In all distress and persecution, with uplifted head, I confidently await the very judge who has already offered himself to the judgment of God in my place and removed the whole curse from me. Christ will cast all his enemies and mine into everlasting condemnation, but will take me and all his chosen ones to himself into the joy and glory of heaven.” I know I am not alone when I say I fear judgment. We are all subject to a society which always expects us to compete, to be better than others, and so many have felt the sting of the condemnation of other Christians. The idea of then having to stand before God in judgment is petrifying. I know I fall far short! How will I ever stand in the day of judgment? The Catechism draws our attention to something profound. We are not standing before just any God, not Allah, or any of the Hindu deities, or a god that bears resemblance to some of the judgmental folk who call themselves Christians. We will stand in judgment before Jesus, the one who has gone to all lengths, including death, to redeem us. Our final judge is one who we know loves us and who has already taken our judgment on Himself.