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Jesus the Judge

That power is the same as the mighty strength he exerted when he raised Christ from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms, far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every name that is invoked, not only in the present age but also in the one to come.
- Ephesians 1:19b-21

He ascended into heaven,
and is seated at the right hand of God the Father almighty;
from there he will come to judge the living and the dead.
- from The Apostles’ Creed

Judgment is all about authority. Who has the authority to pass judgment?

We Christians believe that Jesus is the one who has the authority to pass judgment. He has been exalted, as Paul says in Ephesians, far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every name that is invoked. No one exceeds Christ’s authority.

But our culture is not big on authority. All authority, for us, is permanently on trial. We’ve seen authorities prove themselves unworthy of rendering judgment, unworthy of remaining in office, unworthy of respect. We are daily tempted to treat all authority as if it’s temporary and can be rescinded at any given moment.

Christ has an authority that is not up for a vote. We’ll be talking more about grace, faith and judgment on Sunday. But here it’s enough to say that all of us will stand before Christ for judgment. Our actions and our motivations will be brought to light. No secrets will remain hidden.

And this would be bad news for us if it wasn’t for who was going to be the one doing the judging. Jesus our Savior, who loves us and accepts us, is the one who will stand in as judge. And he can be trusted to judge with fairness and with mercy.

What do you think of the idea of Jesus as judge? How does it make you feel? How does it affect the way you live?

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