Inspired by Psalm 50:1-6
“The heavens declare his righteousness, for God himself is judge.” Psalm 50:6 (NRSV)
Christianity and judgment have always had a difficult relationship with each other. On one hand, the bible is clear that God is our judge, so we can’t simply dismiss the concept (though many of us would like to!). On the other hand, the bible is equally clear that only God is our judge, and therefore it’s not our place to pass judgment on one another.
But many of us have been judged by others, whether they were passing judgment in the name of God or merely according to their own personal opinions. Either way, most of us associate being judged with unfairness, rejection, and a whole host of other negative emotions that also get transferred to God when we contemplate God as judge.
But God is not that kind of judge. Usually when we’ve been judged it’s been by someone who has no idea what it’s like to walk a mile in our shoes. But God in Christ has walked in our shoes. God became human and lived as an ordinary person, with all the fears, temptations, and struggles that characterize the human condition.
God the Son is the righteous judge, in perfect relationship and harmony with God the Father, but we are not judged by that standard. If we were capable of such righteousness on our own, then we would not have needed Christ in the first place. Rather, we are judged by our Lord Jesus Christ, the righteous judge, who looks at us through the eyes of the one who looked at his own murderers and prayed, Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.
Let us pray. Lord our judge, you alone are righteous. Grant us the courage to trust in your merciful justice, that we may confidently proclaim you to the world. Through Christ our Lord, Amen.