The Close of the Mediator's Mission
1 Corinthians 15:28
And when all things shall be subdued to him, then shall the Son also himself be subject to him that put all things under him…

This is a passage of almost extreme difficulty, because fitting into a general scheme of the universe which we find it very difficult to understand, and because dealing with a future so transcendent and sublime as to be beyond the grasp of our imagination. Treated theologically, and fitted into any redemptive scheme, as drawn out by human intellect, the passage is a perplexity. Treated meditatively, and for the sake of its spiritual suggestions, we may be guided by the following brief passage from F. W. Robertson, which seems to be a key to unlock the apostle's high imaginings: - "The mediatorial kingdom of Christ shall be superseded by an immediate one; therefore the present form in which God has revealed himself is only temporary. When the object of the present kingdom of Christ has been attained in the conquest of evil, there will be no longer need of a mediator. Then God wilt be known immediately. We shall know him, when the mediatorial has merged in the immediatorial, in a way more high, more intimate, more sublime, than even through Christ." "There rises before the prophetic vision of St. Paul the final triumph of Christ over all evil, over all power, and the Son giving up to the Father the kingdom of this world, which in his humanity he conquered for the Father as well as for himself. Christ, laying the spoils of a conquered world at the foot of the throne of the Father, shows, by that supreme act of self sacrifice, that in his office as Redeemer he came, not to do his own will, but the will of the Father." In dealing with a passage which seems to concern the sublime and mysterious relations of the Divine Trinity, our spirit cannot be too serious and devout and reverent; yet we may humbly try to understand what God has been pleased so graciously to reveal. Probably the point of the apostle in this passage cannot be apprehended until we can see that the distinctions of the Trinity are, so far as we are concerned, revelational, and made known to us as a part of God's gracious and redemptive purpose. The apostle does not bring us into the presence of what neither he nor we could mentally grasp, the eternal constitution and distinctions of the Divine nature.

I. THE REVELATION OF THE SON IS TEMPORARY. That is, of the Son regarded as the mediatorial and redemptive Agent. There is a doctrine of the eternal Sonship of Christ, but with it this passage does not deal. God may employ on his mission a servant or a Son. In either case the mission is defined in character and limited in time. Whatever Jesus, as the Son of God, came to earth to do, it was a precise mission, having a temporary character. It had two stages.

1. One of earthly manifestation. We know how that was limited to a few years, and at its close he passed, accepted, into heaven.

2. One of spiritual influence. Within that we live, but it is no more abiding than the other, and our text describes its close.

II. THE REVELATION OF THE HOLY GHOST IS DEPENDENT ON THAT OF THE SON, AND IS ALSO TEMPORARY, He is the redemptive Agent who follows up and applies the work of Christ; and is only needed while the redemptive work has to be done. Here, again, no reference is intended to the sublime operations of God of a spiritual kind apart from those exerted in the redemption of man.

III. THE POINT OF THE PRESENT REVELATION OF GOD TO US IS THE RECOVERY OF MAN'S WILL AND HEART TO GOD. It is a moral purpose that is sought. The recovery first of the man himself, and then of his surroundings. This is fully argued in the passage from which the text is taken, and in Romans 8.

IV. WHEN THE REDEMPTIVE DESIGN IS FULLY ACCOMPLISHED, THE MEDIATORIAL OFFICE MAY CEASE, But it only ceases because the end it sought is reached, the mission is fulfilled, and the mediatorial office can be lost in the glory of the relationships into which it will have brought man, and all human relations. "When the last hindrance, the last enemy, is removed, which prevents the entire entrance of God into the soul, we shall see him face to face, know him even as we are known, awake up satisfied in his likeness, and be transformed into pure recipients of the Divine glory. That will be the resurrection." - R.T.

Parallel Verses
KJV: And when all things shall be subdued unto him, then shall the Son also himself be subject unto him that put all things under him, that God may be all in all.

WEB: When all things have been subjected to him, then the Son will also himself be subjected to him who subjected all things to him, that God may be all in all.

Our Relations to Christ in the Future Life
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