High School Graduation. What an exciting moment. It is filled with promise, hope, and expectation for what lays ahead. It is one of the first significant milestones in a person’s life.
At the same time, it can be an emotional time. The graduate realizes that he will be leaving behind good friends. Things will never be the same. The familiar faces, events, and places that were frequented with family and friends will not be the same. Parents realize that their children are now young adults. Many will leave home. Some will go away to college or a trade school. Some may join the military. The household will become one smaller. It will be an adjustment for everyone.
So, joy is mixed with sadness. However, joy overshadows the other emotions. Why? Because the graduate is going on to bigger things. This isn’t the end, it is the beginning of a new phase. When their name is called and they walk across that stage, they are moving on to new things.
The Bible speaks of the ultimate graduation.
“Then I saw a great white throne and Him who sat upon it, from whose presence earth and heaven fled away, and no place was found for them. And I saw the dead, the great and the small, standing before the throne, and books were opened; and another book was opened, which is the book of life; and the dead were judged from the things which were written in the books, according to their deeds. And the sea gave up the dead which were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead which were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead which were in them; and they were judged, every one of them according to their deeds. Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire. And if anyone's name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire (Rev 20:11-15).”
The graduation to glory is the greatest graduation ever. It is interesting that the text speaks of the “books” (plural) being opened, and another “book” (singular) being opened, which is the book of life. The book of life appears to merely be full of the names of the faithful - “And if anyone's name was not found written in the book of life...” Then there are the other multiple books. What are these? The text says, “...the dead were judged from the things which were written in the books, according to their deeds...” So, in contrast to the “book” (singular), which is the book of life, the “books” (plural) appears to be a book of deeds. Why is the book of life just a single book? “For I will be merciful to their iniquities, And I will remember their sins no more (Heb 8:12)." Since God does not remember our sins, perhaps the book of life contains only names, which the other “books” have all the deeds everyone has ever done.
So when graduation day comes for us before the throne of God, he will open the book, and will read our name as we pass on into Heaven itself. What a glorious day that will be!