Daniel 7:10 “The court was seated, and the books were opened.”
Doesn’t this sound like our own courtroom procedures? What happens when the Judge walks in? The bailiff calls out, “All rise.” Everyone stands up in respect as the judge makes his way to the bench. Once the he has taken his seat, and it is time to begin the proceedings, everyone is seated as well. Then we begin the trial and anticipate the judgment.
God’s court, however, functions differently than our own in some important ways. There are no lawyers arguing the cases. There are no witnesses, no scientific experts, being called to the stand. There is no jury hearing the case. From start to finish, all eyes are on the Ancient of Days, anticipating his judgment.
That is because he is the one who holds the books. All the facts of the case for every human soul have been perfectly recorded. No lawyer’s rhetoric, no DNA testing, no lying witnesses can change the verdict. God knows all our deeds. More than that, God knows our hearts.
Does that fill you with fear or with confidence? Do you anticipate the day with dread or with longing? Do you know what your entry in God’s book looks like? For every believer in our Lord Jesus Christ, it looks like the words we hear from Jesus in his great description of the Judgment: “I was hungry and you gave me something to eat. I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink. I was a stranger and you invited me in. I needed clothes and you clothed me. I was sick and you looked after me. I was in prison, and you came to visit me” (Matthew 25:35-36).
All God knows of us are the good things we have done. By faith, all our crimes and sins have been removed from the books, erased by Jesus’ blood. By faith, all our lives have been made to look clean and new, covered by the loving perfection of Jesus’ holy life. When we join this scene from Daniel chapter 7, and stand in the presence of the Ancient of Days, Jesus makes it possible for us to anticipate his judgment with joy.
That’s because how God sees us is even more important than how we see him. In Jesus, we have never looked better.