Jesus Gives Life To Whomever He Chooses.
We have seen that there is a lot of discussion about judgment in the Old Testament, but how is Jesus involved with judgment? He had a lot to say about it in the New Testament and offered a perspective on judgment that is different from the way things appeared in the Old Testament.
The position that Jesus holds relative to judgment and why is explained in John 5:21-23. God, the Father, gave the responsibility of judgment to His Son, Jesus, so that all men would honor Jesus as they honor the Father. It is up to Jesus to give life to whomever He chooses. This is a very big deal, so it is very important to understand how Jesus judges and the results of His judgments.
John 5:21-23 (NKJV)
21 For as the Father raises the dead and gives life to them, even so the Son gives life to whom He will. 22 For the Father judges no one, but has committed all judgment to the Son, 23 that all should honor the Son just as they honor the Father. He who does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent Him.
As we enter into this discussion of Jesus and judgment, it is important to note the covenant under which Jesus lived his life. The New Testament or New Covenant did not begin until Jesus was crucified, died, and resurrected. The change in God’s New Covenant did not fully take place until Jesus had ascended into heaven. Jesus walked the earth living under the Old Covenant. The rules of the covenant and the Law of Moses governed His actions. He lived under the Law, and His life is the bridge between the Old Covenant law and New Covenant grace. This awareness is crucial to our understanding of how Jesus accomplished what He did on our behalf.
Old vs. New
Let’s look at some comparisons of how Jesus talked about judgment versus what we observe in the Old Testament. One example is the account of Korah, the son of Kohath, found in Numbers 16:1-50 (see Appendix Chapter 25). It is a startling event describing a rebellion against Moses and God’s instructions. It occurred after the children of Israel came out of Egypt and were wandering in the desert. The following is a synopsis of the event.
Korah and his family were members of the tribe of the Levites. It was their duty as Levites to exercise authority over the temple, and they had the responsibility of service to the Lord in worship. However, God had given Moses authority over the entire congregation. God put him in charge when He delivered the Law and gave instructions to him. Korah and his group challenged Moses’ authority, stating that he should not be the boss, so to speak. They refused to acknowledge that God put Moses in charge because they wanted to preserve their power, influence, and authority. They rebelled against Moses and God.
This challenge to God’s direction enraged Moses. He was not a stranger to rebellion against God as he had faced this similar attitude with Pharaoh in Egypt as described in Exodus 7-12. Moses made a judgment regarding the rebellion of Korah and his company. He did not choose to overlook this sin against God. The sin was going to consume the entire congregation, so Moses called them out on it. He was looking out for the well-being of His people and interceded for them. God told Moses that he should separate himself and the congregation from Korah and his clan, so they would not be destroyed along with Korah’s sin as detailed in Numbers 16:21-26.
Moses decreed a spectacular sentence, saying that the earth would swallow up Korah, his friends, their families and their possessions, to prove God’s choice of Moses as the leader. The execution of the sentence was swift and complete. They were all destroyed. Moses made the decree in much the same way that Peter made the decree over Ananias and Sapphira, and with the same result, death. Moses had the authority, and he decreed a harsh sentence with his guilty verdict. God did not make the judgment, decree the verdict, or declare the sentence, but He did declare that they would be consumed in all their sins.
It was Moses who judged the situation, decreed the verdict and carried out the sentence. Judgment was made to discern the situation; the verdict was decreed, and the sentence was carried out. Sin against the Law of God was subject to the death penalty. This penalty was carried out because Moses enforced it under his authority. This account provides a stark contrast to Jesus, who brought in a new way of dealing with sin through His judgment.
To learn more about the Character and Nature of the God of the Bible: