One day is history. The other is yet to come. Both relate to Christ. And both are designed to have a tremendous impact on how we live today.
On a certain day in the past Jesus died on the cross.
Emphasis is usually given to the forgiveness His death brings. We hear less about how His death calls for us to make a total change in the way we live. A balanced view of the cross includes both.
As Peter wrote, “. . . He Himself bore our sins in His body on the cross, so that we might die to sin and live to righteousness; for by His wounds you were healed” (1 Peter 2:24). Jesus’ death does bring us forgiveness. But as Paul wrote, “. . . He died for all, so that they who live might no longer live for themselves, but for Him who died and rose again on their behalf” (2 Corinthians 5:15; see Titus 2:14).
On a certain day in the future Jesus will come again.
Referring to earth’s destruction by fire at Christ’s coming, Peter writes, “Since all these things are to be destroyed, what sort of people ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness . . . . But according to His promise we are looking for new heavens and a new earth, in which righteousness dwells. Therefore, beloved, since you look for these things, be diligent to be found by Him in peace, spotless and blameless . . .” (2 Peter 3:11, 13-14; see 1 John 3:2-3).
In the meantime . . . .
God knew we would need a lot of motivation to turn from doing our will to His. And so He provides us with these two pinnacle events to spur us to make the right choices.
Out of gratitude for His cross we put sin behind us and live righteously. And in view of His coming we want Him to find us ready!
We look back to the cross and we look forward to His return. His death made our salvation possible; His return will bring our salvation to completion.
And so may our lives reflect our deep appreciation for all Jesus has done and will do for us—as we live between these two great days.
Scripture quotations taken from the NASB: http://www.lockman.org/
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