The Mediator’s Cross According to Heaven -- By: S. Lewis Johnson, Jr.

Journal: Reformation and Revival
Volume: RAR 05:1 (Winter 1996)
Article: The Mediator’s Cross According to Heaven
Author: S. Lewis Johnson, Jr.

The Mediator’s Cross According to Heaven

S. Lewis Johnson, Jr.

One of the most significant passages touching the Cross of our Lord Jesus Christ is found in the fifth chapter of the last book of the New Testament. The remarkable vision of the Creator-Lord and His throne room in chapter four of the Apocalypse has given way to an animated scene in which the throne of heaven invests the Lion of the Tribe of Judah with the legal authority to establish His dominion over the earth through advent and judgment (cf. John 5:22–23, 27).

A seven-sealed book rests upon the right hand of the one sitting upon the throne. It is a testamentary disposition 1 of the affairs of the earth and the goal of history. It might be called a pre-written history of the manner by which the Son of Man ascends the throne of universal dominion to oversee the fulfillment of all the covenant promises. 2 When this takes place, all the ancient and modern questions find their solution.

We meet here, not the Christology of the liberal theologians, such as Hendrikus Berkhof, John Hick or James M. Robinson, nor of the mildly conservative such as Wolfhart Pannenberg, nor even of the inspired apostles, although it is completely harmonious with apostolic teaching. Here we have the theology of heaven. And in heaven they know who He is and what He has done. Only on earth are there confusion, perplexity and error.

In the dramatic scene pictured in Revelation five God makes it plain that it is through the Lion-Lamb, the Son of Man and Son of God, that God’s kingdom is inaugurated as the fulfillment of His covenantal promises. And a disturbing question is raised here by modern Christology in which our Lord is seen as someone less than the Incarnate God. As an example, in an article a few years ago, James M. Robinson, Professor of Religion at Claremont Graduate School and Director of the Institute for Antiquity and Christianity, offers readers a view of Jesus Christ that concludes with adoptionist implications that He was a mere human being who was chosen

by God, inspired and empowered by God for His ministry of the revelation of God’s wisdom. 3

All the old questions are raised, of which the fundamental one is, “How can one who is less than God redeem the people of God?” The question drags Anselm of Canterbury from the eleventh and twelfth centuries right into the twentieth.

We turn, then, to...

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