“If it is suggested that this [Jesus being ‘the incarnate Son of God’] gives Jesus an unfair advantage over us, we would not disagree, except with the wording of this criticism. It is not in any way our intention to reduce Jesus to our level, or to say that Jesus was exactly as we are. Rather it is our intention to say that when the Son of God became incarnate He assumed ‘fallen human nature’, in this respect becoming as we are; but we should whole-heartedly affirm that He was the divine Son of God. To say that this gives Him an unfair advantage over us is to miss the essential point. The Son of God came to be our savior in order that his victory should be ours; any ‘advantage’ which he possessed he used FOR OUR BENEFIT.” —Harry Johnson, The Humanity of the Saviour (London: The Epworth Press, 1962), p. 31, all emphases added. [6/08/09]
The ransom that the Lord Jesus Christ paid was not the fulfillment of any contract or covenant or transaction with the Devil. No deal was cut. Yet Jesus was certainly a bait that Satan did take! Call it DEVIL-BAITING if you will, but the Lord was definitely—designedly—surrendered to his (and God’s) enemies so that God could display His premial justice before the whole world by overturning the Adversary’s plot…from the inside out! Satan did, predictably, take the bait, hook, line, and sinker! The Tempter gets hooked by temptation! Haha!! And what a jolly outcome followed! Now there’s a whopper of an angler’s tale. I’m not gonna lie to ya. [6/08/09; 2/15/17]
The restorative justice that both inaugurated and was inaugurated by the New Covenant in the Messiah’s blood went way over the top of anybody’s expectations until Jesus himself demonstrated its vast import. For he exhibited its power to heal the sick, the blind, the lame, the deaf, the diseased, etc., restoring them to full health! Moreover, it restored wealth to the poor and needy! It restored status to the downtrodden! It restores prosperity and fruitfulness to the famine-stricken! It restores liberty to the oppressed and imprisoned! THIS IS BIG!
All of this and more, is implied and included in the act of GOD’S RESTORATIVE JUSTICE IN MESSIAH’S RESURRECTION! [6/10/09; penned after reading Nicholas Wolterstorff’s Justice: Rights and Wrongs (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2010).]
Jesus never sinned because, even though he had a body of flesh with its disposition of death and enmity to God, he was “not in flesh, but in [God’s] Spirit” (Romans 8:5, 7, Hebrews 9:14). For he always was “walking in accord with Spirit” or “getting led by God’s Spirit” (Romans 8:4-14, Galatians 6:16-18). Thus he remained ever obedient and faithful to God—“the Holy and Just One” (Acts 3:14). This same Spirit was “the power of his resurrection” (Philippians 3:10) by which he endured in wholesomeness and righteousness throughout his whole life, and with especial power after his immersion, for what he was to endure for our sake, but with yet more superabundant power—enough to animate a whole new body of wholesome ones!—after the supercompensating justice of God awarded his covenantal faithfulness with resurrection from the dead and soaring exaltation to God’s right side!
It is no coincidence that it is precisely Romans, Galatians, and Philippians 3, which expound God’s justice, that exclusively speak this way about the Spirit! [6/10/09]
What final good is an atonement for the “guilt” of sin (i.e., with respect to the offender) that does not atone for the damage that sin causes to its victim? I submit that only a resurrectionary atonement displays authentic potency to rectify the complete panorama of sin’s devastation. A PENAL ATONEMENT FALLS SHORT OF THE GLORY OF GOD. [6/10/09]
The righteousness/justice of God that devolves “on faith” (Philippians 3:9, Romans 3:22) is the just award (Romans 5:16,18, 8:4) of agelong life (Romans 5:17-21, 6:23, 8:2-14) which was manifested (Romans 3:21, 1 John 1:1-2, Titus 1:2-3, 2 Timothy 1:1) in Christ’s resurrection from the dead (Philippians 3:9-11, Romans 1:1-4, 4:25, 8:10-11), namely, the Gift of the Holy Spirit (Galatians 2:20-3:14, Romans 5:15-17, 8:1-17, Acts 2:30-39, 5:29-32, 10:39-47, etc.), for righteousness proceeds from whatever is able to make alive (ζωοποι–) (Galatians 3:21). Therefore, “the righteousness of God” which “has gotten manifest” “apart from [Moses’] Law” (which cannot make alive!) (Romans 3:21) “through Jesus Christ’s faithfulness” (Romans 3:22, Galatians 3:22), namely, the Father’s promised Gift of the Holy Spirit (against the fruits of which “there is no Law,” Galatians 5:23) of life agelong, in His graciousness, exclusively qualifies! [6/10/09]