Matthew 22: 41-46 ; Psalm 110:1
October 20, 2019 A+D
In the Name of the Father and of the +Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
Adam and rebelled and God walked in the garden. He came to the earth. He sought rebel Adam who hated Him and hid himself in servile fear, seeking to cover himself with fig leaves and accusations against Eve and Satan. God walked, presumably, by legs and feet, in a form like unto a man who was His very image.
God came to earth for Adam and Eve. He walked to where they hid. He spoke hard words, but there was no fire or wrath. He did not come to destroy, He came to where they lived and where they hid in order to reinstate them to His fellowship and family. He would not let Satan have them. He would take up flesh with us, for us, as one of us. In that Flesh He is Enmity between us and Satan. In that form, as a Man, not just like a man who is His image, but as an actual created Man, with heart and lungs and kidneys, with body and soul and mind, in the image of His Father He would allow the devil to bruise His heel as payment and atonement, satisfaction and completion, of all the Law’s accusations and demands, from greatest to least, in all the ways that we are love God and love neighbor. In the bruising, however, He would crush Satan’s skull and take away his ability to accuse us. Mankind was redeemed and reconciled back to God and in God to one another. Adam then could love God and love Eve.
All this is from God. From the beginning, already in the garden when confronted with fig leaf excuses, God was reconciling the world to Himself. He does not and did not count trespasses against those who believed His Word and waited on His promises. Adam believed and it was reckoned unto him as righteousness. God made Him and Eve to be His children and He promised to be their God. He was Himself their Kinsman-Redeemer.
To say that this is all from God and that God walked in the garden and that God made a promise that saved humanity from the fate of the demons, that God is the Kinsman of Job and us all, is to say that all this is from and in Christ. For Christ is not merely the son of David, He is also David’s Lord. The Second Person of the Holy Trinity is and always has been the Mediator between God and men. He walked in the garden even before He had skin and sweat to fall like blood. The Lord our God is one. His Name is Jesus for He saves His people. There is no other name under heaven by which man is saved, no other name of God, no other way to know Him. We do not meet God apart from the Man born of Mary for in Him the whole fullness of God dwells bodily. There is no other god. When we meet the Man born of Mary, such as we meet Him in His Word or in His risen Body hidden under bread, we meet God.
Most obviously, then, the mystery of the Incarnation, of God becoming Man, is inseparable from the mystery of Redemption. God took up Flesh to save us. The mystery of the Incarnation is likewise inseparable from all other topics of theology or from any possible theological question. All Theology is Christology because there is no God but Christ. The Lord our God is One. His Name is Jesus for He saves His people.
Even though we, who are not without beginning, can conceive of a time before the Incarnation that He has not always been a Man, He who has always existed is always now a Man. Everything we know about God and ourselves in Him can only be known through this single reality and gift: the God who walked on the earth seeking Adam to restore him to Himself walked upon the earth in the Flesh inherited from Mary and let us put Him to death otherwise there was no purpose in seeking Adam to begin with.
The problem with the Pharisee’s question about the Law is not so much that he failed to properly distinguishing between Law and Gospel. In fact, Jesus takes it seriously and answers it adeptly. The entirety of the Law and the Prophets hang upon the dual command: love God and love neighbor. But that Law is of almost no use if is contemplated apart from the One who hung upon the cross for the violations of it and thereby brought it to perfection.
Jesus would teach the scribe, and us all, to be a theologian. “What do you think about the Christ? Whose Son is he?” These questions lead to the heart of our faith. Christ is David’s Son, yet He is also David’s Lord. He is a physical, biological descendent of David, and yet He pre-exists David and created David. He is God and He is Man, a single personality and will, a single Christ.
Thus does the Father say to the Son: “Sit at my right hand, until I put your enemies under your feet.” Having addressed the doctrine of the Incarnation with the phrase “the Lord said to my Lord,” David goes on to the Christ’s enthronement and triumph. In this one line of the psalm, quoted by Christ, David confesses the profound realities that are the foundation of our whole relationship to God. The eternal identity of Jesus Christ is that He, true God and true Man, is a priest forever in the order of Melchizedek. He triumph over sin and death and His enemies are placed under His feet. Finally, He is glorified at His Father’s right hand. Thus Hebrews 1
God, who at various times and in various ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets, 2 has in these last days spoken to us by His Son, whom He has appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the worlds; 3 who being the brightness of His glory and the express image of His person, and upholding all things by the word of His power, when He had by Himself purged our sins, sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high.
Thus does Jesus teach us how to read the Old Testament and be Theologians. May He, in His mercy, make us such and bring us to the brightness of His glory.
In +Jesus’ Name. Amen.