“You shall go out leaping like calves from the stall.”
The topic of the end of the world is normally met with either fear or a nervous-denial induced disdain. Talk of the end can make us a bit shifty and worried, or perhaps we kick up our bravado a touch. The world does love its posturing, after all. However, to be frank, a lot of what gets said about the end is scary. When Malachi says, “For behold, the day is coming, burning like an oven…” that’s not playing around. When God decides to end the world, He is going to end it.
But you really ought to read beyond just the bit about the oven. The wicked are going to be burned up root and branch, reduced to stubble. Justice will be done. And don’t over look the promise – those who fear the LORD will go out like a bunch of calves leaping from the stall when finally let loose (which, if you have never seen it, is a joyous and hilarious thing). The end is nothing to fear for the Christian.
Yet, sometimes there can be that nagging fear or worry. We know our own sin, we know the things that make us ashamed, the things we ourselves want avoid with bluster and show. Well, the key to remember, O Christian, that this is talking about the day that the LORD Jesus acts, not you. It’s not about your actions, but Christ’s action for you.
On that great day, that Friday far beyond all others, Jesus acted for your good. He took up your sin, and He destroyed it utterly upon the Cross. Root, branch, stubble – all taken by Christ and done away with. You are forgiven. And when the end comes, whether you are around to see it or whether Christ’s call for you to rise bursts open your casket, you will leap forth with joy and freedom nigh unimaginable.
Because God is the One who acts. He has acted for you upon the Cross, He has acted for you when He washed you in Holy Baptism and bound Himself to you, He acts for you whenever He gives you His Spirit through His Word, and come the Last Day, you will see His action for you in full, forever and ever.