The Amazing Judgment of Christ's Cross
For this week leading up to Good Friday, when our attention is turned to the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, we post some thoughts on "the amazing cross" from the PRC Seminary's first professor - Herman Hoeksema, who also served as pastor of First PRC in Grand Rapids, MI.
These words are taken from his book The Amazing Cross, first published by William B. Eerdmans in 1943 and republished last year (2018) by the Reformed Free Publishing Association. It is a collection of Lenten sermons Hoeksema preached in First PRC in the 1940s. The first series of sermons was called “Amazing Judgment,” and in this post we quote from the first sermon of that series, which is titled “The Judgment of the World.” It is based on John 12:31 – “Now is the judgment of this world: now shall the prince of this world be cast out.”
Thus it had to be. As men view the events of this world, what was historically the world’s trial of Jesus was in reality God’s trial of the world. What was to all appearances the condemnation of the Son of man by the tribunal of the world was in deepest reality the condemnation of the world before the tribunal of the Judge of heaven and earth. Two thousand years ago, or more definitely speaking in the ‘hour’ of Jesus, in that brief period when the Christ of God was tried, condemned, and crucified by the rulers of this world, the world very really stood in judgment before God and was tried and condemned.
True, there will come a final day, a day of the revelation of the righteous judgment of God when all the implications in the judgment of the cross will be publicly verified and exposed. But that does not alter the fact that in a very real sense the judgment of the world has already become a fact through the death and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ. We must understand and believe this truth. The world is already and irrevocably condemned. The prince of this world has already been utterly cast out. In the midst of this condemned world with its deposed prince, we must take shelter by faith in the shadow of the cross and take hold of the justifying power of the resurrection, so that we may be saved. [pp.5-6]