The Rainbow Scaffold in Matthew, part 5
We have seen in previous pages that in Matthew 23-24 Christ warns people to repent, to take heed of the state of their souls. He shows that God uses his people to prove the hearts of the nations. Yahweh’s plan is moving forward, his measuring is sure.
Now we see that all creation is in on the story. In all of Scripture we see that the natural world holds out for us a great message about God. We can see God’s character from reason and from proper consideration of the Earth and of the universe we live in.
The reaction of the sun, moon, and stars in verse 29 is almost a form of mourning. The darkening of the sky, the falling of stars, the shaking of the heavens, all of these are well-known portents of doom. These and more are “signs of the Son of Man.” Christ was born of woman, made of flesh and blood. He is of this earth. And yet he is of God, eternally-begotten of the Father. He is of God, fully and equal to God in his divine essence.
This is the one who will come on the clouds of heaven. This one-like-us, who now is bound to a resurrection body as we will have. This One comes with power and divine glory, and the angels of God announce him.
God who is building his eternal temple through the church, who is measuring and weighing mankind as evidence that his people are indeed his people, this God finally gathers his elect “from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other” (v.31).
Do the angels know who God’s elect are?
Absolutely. It is clear from the books that have been written, it is clear from their habitual deeds (see v. 46). God’s people are not making it to heaven by their deeds. They made it into the camp of Covenant people through bending, through repentance (Up is Down, light blue).
But the evidence of the camp they are in is their deeds. The inside of the cup has been washed, by the blood of the Lamb. They are like Noah who entered the ark (v 37) while the rest of his generation was satisfied with their own wisdom (Wisdom of the Wise, red, v.38).
The blindness, the unawareness (v 39), resulted in their WOE. They were swept away because they did not heed the Ark, which was being built in front of them (Architect, green).
While the entirety of Scripture teaches us the Character of God, often we see a clearly defined picture of the-way-God-is. In verse 35 this is what we see. Jesus Christ is declaring that he himself is the Eternal Word of God, and that his spoken words are equal to Yahweh’s eternal words.
What does that do to you? Does it send you into the apathetic camp? Or does it send you onto your knees in grateful devotion?
Choose this day. How does it filter you?
Final Word-This Present Happy Hell
The book of Matthew is not done, the sermon is not over.
Three parables remain (all of them “all or nothing” Separation Filters, yellow). After the Great Summary of Judgment Day, the scene drastically changes and we Behold His Love. We will discuss these in another series.
But here Christ prepares us for the ultimate proof of life being about Separation Filters by verse 45 and following:
“Do what you’re supposed to be doing,” says Christ.
It will go well for you if you do. And, as he says in John 14:23, if you love him you will be obeying him. This is the evidence of a life of faith: obedience. We are saved by grace, by faith. But faith without deeds is dead.
Time tests us; life is a test; this delay between Atonement and Judgment Day is testing us.
Do what you’re supposed to be doing, even if it seems the master is not coming. Verses 38 and 49 warn us of the wrong kinds of attitudes and priorities. “The love of most will grow cold” (24:12). How’s your love?
This Happy Hell we live in is filled with beautiful things. Like Vanity Fair in Pilgrim’s Progress, there are many things to lull us away from faithful following of Christ.
Is Christ your only joy? Is he your great treasure?
Purple, Green, Orange, Light Blue, Light Green, Dark Blue, Yellow, Pink, Brown–all these represent circumstances in life that are weighing, testing, and sifting whether or not you love God.
What you are is proven by your deeds.
What do your deeds say about you?
Where do you place your hope?
What do you love?
What are you?