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One of the most important bodies of leadership in the US (if not, the most important) is the Supreme Court. It’s not surprising that some of the ugliest political battles have been over Supreme Court appointments (remember Robert Bork and Clarence Thomas?).
Given the immense influence of the court, we should understand that one of our main concerns in choosing a president is what kind of judges the candidate would appoint.
Whether we’re talking about the high court or lower courts, the decisions of Judges profoundly alter the lives of individuals for better or worse. Sometimes they affect millions of people — shaping the entire future of a nation.
Today, however, I invite you to remember that the most important court appointment has been made. It’s an appointment to the highest judiciary seat possible and it covers the entire human race.
There will not be any ugly political battles. No filibusters. No votes of confirmation from politicians. This appointment did not come with a news conference or a press release. God did something far greater. He made the appointment of the Supreme Judge and confirmed it by raising him from the dead.
There is an interesting and repeated emphasis in the Bible connecting the Resurrection of Christ with his position and function as the final Judge of humanity.
“God has set a day when he will judge the world with justice by the man he has appointed. He has given proof of this to all men by raising him from the dead” (Acts 17:31).
“For just as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, even so the Son gives life to whom he is pleased to give it. Moreover, the Father judges no one, but has entrusted all judgment to the Son (John 5:21-22).
“They killed him by hanging him on a cross, but God raised him from the dead on the third day and caused him to be seen. He was not seen by all the people, but by witnesses whom God had already chosen — by us who ate and drank with him after he rose from the dead. He commanded us to preach to the people and to testify that he is the one whom God appointed as judge of the living and the dead” (Acts 10:39-42).
“Christ died and returned to life so that he might be the Lord of both the dead and the living. You, then, why do you judge your brother or sister? … For we will all stand before God’s judgment seat…. So then, each of us will give an account of ourselves to God” (Romans 14:9-12)
“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. For as the Father has life in himself, so he has granted the Son also to have life in himself. And he has given him authority to judge because he is the Son of Man. Do not be amazed at this, for a time is coming when all who are in their graves will hear his voice and come out — those who have done what is good will rise to live, and those who have done what is evil will rise to be condemned. (John 5:25-29).
The trial and crucifixion of Jesus was the most profound perversions of justice known to humanity. Although repeatedly declared innocent by the Roman governor and others, they proceeded to mock, torture and crucified the innocent one. But by raising Christ from this illegal death sentence, God reversed the atrocity of injustice and appointed Christ as the final Judge of humanity. God gave proof to all people that Jesus is the appointed judge of humanity when He defeated injustice and death and raised Jesus to life.
“Wicked officials committed a terrible injustice in killing him, but God reversed that injustice by raising Jesus from the dead, showing him to be God’s Son and appointing him as judge over the entire world. Judge Jesus has endured horrible oppression and injustice, and he has overcome it by rising again. His resurrection encourages us never to give up on justice but to believe that the Lord will always have the final word. If you know that Jesus lives and that he is the appointed judge, you know that justice will triumph and that injustice will be overturned and punished.”
“The victory achieved by Christ through his death and resurrection on that first Easter morning is the guarantee of God’s final triumph over evil. By his perfect life, his death for our sins and his resurrection, it is Christ who has won the right to be the final judge of the human race” (David Feddes).
Celebrate our risen Savior and final Judge!
See also: “The final judge of all people” (from Jonathan Edwards, 1703-1758).