“Then those who heard it, being convicted by their conscience, went out one by one, beginning with the oldest even to the last. And Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst.” John 8:9
What a picture of the day of judgment. A single, sinful soul has a face to face encounter with Jesus as her judge. The ones who had condemned slowly left one by one until she is left all alone with the Lord.
I believe that is a type of Jesus’ judgment of all souls. I think that after death there will be a meeting, a moment of solitude where the spirit of man will stand face to face with Jesus. I believe that it will be a moment of simple reflection and solemn review in which the past will be as present. I will see myself as I really am in the light of the Son of Man.
You say, “I thought that it was going to be general review with everybody standing there as one big group. In fact, doesn’t the Bible teach that the small and great will stand before God?” Yes, but that doesn’t mean that they’re going to stand before you or you before them. You may very well be in a line – a procession – where everyone is so consumed with their own shortcomings and sin that those around them seem invisible. Now, God surely sees it all, but you may very well be only conscious of the fact that you are standing before Him. You may not hear the steps behind or even see the one in front of you. You very likely will feel yourself all alone with God.
I think that this moment of review and reflection is much better suited for self-examination than perhaps the option. You see, the presence – or awareness – of many others may actually cause me to not examine my life in the light of the Son of Man, but rather in the light of other men. The crowd could very well become a contrary influence for it makes me look out, not in. It causes me to criticize the choices and actions of those around me, instead of considering my life in the light of my Lord. I would likely be like Peter, who instead of asking forgiveness for his denial of Jesus, looked at John and asked, “Lord, what about him?” That’s why it’s a good thing that there should be a time where the everybody else is shut out, when John is hidden from Peter’s view. It is good that there will be a moment on that mount when I will see no man but Jesus.
Practice being alone with Jesus. Mark tells us in his gospel that “…when they were alone, He explained all things to His disciples.” That was not only true in their lives, it is true in ours as well. If you really want to see yourself, understand yourself, then you will have to send the multitude away. Let them all leave one by one, like the women in John 8, until you are left standing there alone with Christ. To be alone with Him is in essence to have your judgment day, for it was only when Jesus got rid of the Pharisees that the woman began to feel her own sinfulness. As long at they lingered she could excuse herself by saying, “They’re just as bad as I am.” But when the Pharisees finally left she lost the ability to point at them and had to deal with her own condition. She stood all alone in the Lord’s court with the Lord of the court and she could only measure her life by His.
Have you ever imagined that you were the only person left on earth? That everybody else was gone and you were the only living creature left in all of the creation? In such a world your every thought would be, “It’s just God and me. Me and God!” The reality of that truth is much nearer that we often realize. He is just as near to you now as if the only hearts that beat in all of the universe were yours and His.
Christian, practice solitude. Practice the putting out of the crowd. Practice the secret of stilling your own heart and standing alone in His presence. Learn the truth of the solemn, simple refrain,”Its just God and me. Me and God!” Don’t let anybody come between you and your wrestling angel. You will be both condemned and pardoned when you come face to face with Christ alone.