Sunday, February 23, 2014

The Judgment of Christ

“For the Father judges no one, but has committed all judgement to the Son” (Jn. 5:22).

Does this saying of the Lord Jesus apply only to the Incarnation (and afterwards), or to the whole of the economy of salvation?  Before, I was inclined to see it as the first; however, I'm leaning towards the second. Part of this is seeing Jesus as always and eternally the Son, not just as being Son via the Incarnation (Lk. 1:35).

If the second option is true, then something wonderful happens in Genesis. God (the Son) gives Adam judgment: "on the day you eat of [the tree], you shall surely/be liable to die" (there is an important ambiguity in the Hebrew here; not sure offhand how it looks in the LXX). When Adam does rebel, the judgment starts to bear fruit: mankind really is liable to death, even violent death as Cain discovers, or innocent death as Abel experiences. However, if the Incarnation was to always happen, and Revelation, at least, seems to imply this (13:8, cf. 1 Pt. 1:20), then this means that the Son, when warning Adam of the consequences of sin and then applying them in assize, is signing His own death warrant. The Cross is found in Genesis 2 and 3, as the judgment of God is revealed to be an outpouring of His grace, freely chosen from before the first sin ("the foundation of the world"?). 

This is truly beautiful.