I was reading Matthew 25, and was struck by how unkind and non-generous Jesus sounds here. The foolish bridesmaids get left outside of the feast. The servant who took no risks and played it safe gets thrown into outer darkness with weeping and gnashing of teeth. The goats get sent into eternal fire with the devil and his angels. This isn't Jesus Meek and Mild. This is serious talk of real judgment.
So how are we supposed to resolve the Prince of Peace with eternal judgment and punishment? To be honest, at the moment I'm not sure. But I don't buy the idea that says we can pick and choose what we want to strip from scripture, just so it smooths out our own ruffled feathers and pet explanations
With situations like this, I want to enter into the mystery offered here. I want to believe that there is some way of understanding reality that satisfies the powerful love, grace, and mercy of Jesus and, at the same time, also includes the pictures of an ultimate end, a final judgment. But instead of conveniently ignoring one side or the other of the mystery to get to the solution via shortcuts, I want to live in that tension that usually arises with such scenarios. In my opinion, we only find the truth when we can get past our discomfort and live in the tensions that arise instead of looking for "cheap" and convenient ways of resolving the tension.