Saturday, December 6, 2014

Solus Christus: The Judge

Not only did God promise that His Redeemer would be a prophet like Moses, not only did He foreshadow Jesus’ priesthood in the high priests of the Old Testament, but He also told us through the prophet Isaiah that Jesus would be the righteous Judge of the world from the line of King David:
1 There shall come forth a shoot from the stump of Jesse,
    and a branch from his roots shall bear fruit.
2 And the Spirit of the LORD shall rest upon him,
    the Spirit of wisdom and understanding,
    the Spirit of counsel and might,
    the Spirit of knowledge and the fear of the LORD.
3 And his delight shall be in the fear of the LORD.
    He shall not judge by what his eyes see,
    or decide disputes by what his ears hear,
4 but with righteousness he shall judge the poor,
    and decide with equity for the meek of the earth;
    and he shall strike the earth with the rod of his mouth,
    and with the breath of his lips he shall kill the wicked.
5 Righteousness shall be the belt of his waist,
    and faithfulness the belt of his loins. (Is. 11:1-5)
Our Redeemer is the Messiah who will one day judge the world in righteousness. But, what did Isaiah mean when he prophesied that the Messiah would judge the world “in righteousness”? Well, let’s turn to what Jesus Himself has to say about this judgment in Mt. 25:31-34, 41, 46:
31 “When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on his glorious throne. 32 Before him will be gathered all the nations, and he will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. 33 And he will place the sheep on his right, but the goats on the left. 34 Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world…. 41 “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels…. 46 And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”
With His “wisdom and understanding,” “counsel and might,” and “knowledge and… fear of the LORD,” Jesus will separate the righteous from the unrighteous; those whose name is written in the Lamb’s Book of Life from those whose is not. Then He will judge them according to their righteousness. This is good news (indeed the gospel!) for believers because we’ve been given Christ’s righteousness and will be judged according to that imputed righteousness. But, Advent should remind us that for this to be good news, we must be in Christ—we must have His righteousness credited to our account. Those who are in Christ are the sheep who’ll be placed on His right and who will hear the words, “Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.” Those who are outside of Christ will also be judged in righteousness, but since they are not righteous, the righteous judgment on them is condemnation and “eternal punishment” in hell. This should remind us that we need to spread the good news of Christmas to the world.

On this day of Advent, think about your non-Christian friends and family members. Jesus is the righteous Judge and He always judges in righteousness, but for that judgment to be “Well done, good and faithful servant,” one must accept Him as Lord and Savior in this life. This is a solemn reminder of Advent but a much-needed one for all of us (especially me). The Judge is coming, and we need to be spreading the good news of Christmas: “For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that you by his poverty might become rich.

By His Grace,

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