50,000

Over the past few weeks I have been reading the Qur’an. Its teachings take the form of scattered sayings more often than linear stories, and I have found that The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Islam sometimes helps me understand by organizing the principles in a way I’m more accustomed to. According to The Complete Idiot’s Guide, Mohammed taught that the final Judgment Day would last 50,000 years because the number of people who have lived on earth–whose deeds need to be weighed–is so grand.

Yesterday I listened to a Christian pastor reflect on the message of the cross. He encouraged the assembly of people, “Imagine knowing everyone who ever lived, not just on a Facebook level, but completely. Now imagine knowing all the dirt that you do, looking each and every person in the eyes, and still loving them, so much that you die for them. That’s what Jesus did.”

When I heard him say that, I remembered how Mohammed said humanity would take 50,000 years to judge. As a follower of Jesus, one who believes the crucifixion story is true, I realized: Jesus took 50,000 years of judgment upon himself. Mohammed was right: humanity has much to be judged. Jesus didn’t want me to come to judgment day unsure of my fate, though, like a kid dreading going to the principal after she misbehaved. He wanted me to come with my eyes fixed on him, full of trust and love for the one who has given me 50,000 years of grace.

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