Who is my Accuser? (Part 1)
Moreover, the Father judges no one, but has entrusted all judgment to the Son, that all may honor the Son just as they honor the Father. Whoever does not honor the Son does not honor the Father, who sent him. “Very truly I tell you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be judged but has crossed over from death to life.”
One picture of a particular “theory” of atonement is that of God the judge looking down at sinful man, ready to pronounce judgement, and Jesus interposing himself and taking our punishment instead.
While this picture can be helpful in understanding that God is both just and loving, and understanding how Jesus’ suffering brought about our forgiveness, there are some problems with this image.
First of all, since it treats God the Father and Jesus as separate entities, it does not do a great job of embracing the unity of the Trinity.
But perhaps worse, this illustration leads us to think that the Father is still out to punish us, and that it’s only Jesus holding back his wrath. This is not the case at all.
In John 5:22 Jesus clearly tells us that the Father has entrusted all judgement to the Son. He says directly that the Father judges no one.
We know Jesus was compassionate and loving. More than that, We know that Jesus endured agony and separation from God, and gave his very life for us.
If it is this same Jesus to whom has been entrusted all judgement, what are the implications to us? Is the compassionate and loving Jesus going to keep record of our sins and dole out punishment? Is Jesus who suffered death for us going to throw the benefit of is agonizing work out the window so that he can strike us down from his judgement seat?
Of course not. Jesus died for us, and rose triumphant over sin. He loves us completely, and wants us to receive the benefit of his redemptive work.
Is Jesus going to cast down judgement on us Christians because of our sins and shortcomings? We don’t even need to guess at the answer to this question. In John 5:24 Jesus specifically says “Very truly I tell you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be judged but has crossed over from death to life.”
There you have it. God the Father isn’t in the business of judging: that is Jesus’ job to do. And Jesus has already cast his judgement on me: I have heard Jesus word, and I believe the Father who sent him to die for me. Jesus, aka the judge, has found me, the defendent…not guilty. The verdict: I have eternal life. I have crossed over from death to life.
So… who is now my accuser? Any takers? Does anyone want to accuse me now that the one rightful judge has already pronounced his verdict? Anyone?
I thought not. There is none to accuse me. And without an accuser…I am free!