Saturday February 27
Who Can Endure? - Malachi 3:1-3 (ESV)
"Behold, I send my messenger, and he will prepare the way before me. And the Lord whom you seek will suddenly come to his temple; and the messenger of the covenant in whom you delight, behold, he is coming, says the LORD of hosts.
But who can endure the day of his coming, and who can stand when he appears? For he is like a refiner's fire and like fullers' soap.
He will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver, and he will purify the sons of Levi and refine them like gold and silver, and they will bring offerings in righteousness to the LORD."
Yes, John the Baptist is the Messenger. But who is this One who suddenly comes to His temple? He is an agent of both soap and fire, cleansing both the external and the depths of the corrupted sinful heart. The currency of His cleansing work will not be in silver and gold, but the treasure which only God Himself can provide: righteousness.
Righteousness is what enables us to stand in God’s presence. Righteousness is the only thing that can clothe us for eternity.
The One who cleanses comes right on the heels of the Messenger. Just as the prophesied task went far beyond the scope of John the Messenger, so also the cleansing must go far beyond outward appearances. It must come from God Himself to cleanse all that damns us.
Indeed, who can endure such a purifying process that requires the refining of hellfire itself?
Suddenly, into His temple, comes not forerunner John, but the Chief Cleanser Himself: Jesus Christ. Ready and willing to shed His blood on the cross as the only acceptable sacrifice to pay for all the sins, of all the people, for all time - including yours.
Your suffering and death paid the price for my sins. Your Resurrection proves that my sinful debt is paid. Thank you for bringing me to saving faith in You.
Rev. Robert Gebel - Milwaukee, Wisconsin