To let God be Judge is to be freed from the need to make final judgments about ourselves or anyone else. To let God be the judge means freedom! For though we all have to make judgment calls requiring wisdom and discernment -- Christ comes to take the matter of making final judgments out of our hands altogether — a role we’re totally unqualified for anyway. That's because when we’re in the judgment seat (to paraphrase Karl Barth) it usually leads to one place -- the place where we find ourselves innocent and everyone else guilty.
In the very next scene, George is outside getting oxygen from a group of paramedics. "It was an inferno in there!" he tells them. Suddenly the clown runs over to George: "There he is! That's him!" Several angry children and Robin's mother gather round. "That's the coward that left us to die!" they cry. The clown tries to hit George with an oversized shoe. "I saw you push the women and children out of the way in a mad panic….and when you ran out, you left everyone behind."
Secondly, to let God be Judge is to be judged by the One who was willingly judged in our place. To let God be Judge means the Judge has taken our judgment! The wonder of Jesus’ death on the cross is that the Judge of the universe stepped down from his chair as Judge, and took our place, the place of the condemned. Why? So that we might stand in the place of the forgiven! Paul says, “God made him to be sin who knew no sin, that in him we might become the righteousness of God” (2 Corinthians 5: 21) or in another version: “God put the wrong on him who never did anything wrong, so we could be put right with God.” Now some may object: How does Jesus’ death on the cross prevent the suffering we see in our world? What can it really do to prevent the horrors of WWI, or Auschwitz, or Hiroshima, or September 11th from happening again? I love the final line of My Father’s World: “This is my Father’s world, the battle is not done, Jesus who died shall be satisfied, and earth and heaven be one.” Jesus did not come only to die for our sins, he did -- but he also came to confront the powers of evil, to show us how to set the captives free, and to work and pray for his coming kingdom “until earth & heaven be one.”
“I am not evil,” Papa says to Mack. “You are the ones who embrace fear and pain and power and rights so readily in your relationships. Your choices are also not stronger than my purposes, and I will use every choice you make for the ultimate good and most loving outcome” (The Shack, p. 127).
Finally, Scripture affirms that to let God be Judge is to be judged worthy of love and the opportunity to accept it. There’s a powerful moment in The Shack, when Mack is given the opportunity to sit on God’s judgment seat and make a truly God-sized decision. He is told he must decide which of his four children will be condemned to hell and separated from God! Mack despairs at having to make such a decision, which is the whole point. He falls at the feet of Sophia, a personification of God’s Wisdom, asking for mercy. “I don’t want to be the judge” Mack cries out, “Could I go instead? If you need someone to torture for eternity, I’ll go in their place. Would that work? Could I do that? Please, let me go for my children. Please, I would be happy to….Please, I am begging you. Please…Please…” Wisdom replies, “Now you sound like Jesus. You have judged well, Mackenzie. I am so proud of you….You have judged them worthy of love, even if it costs you everything. That is how Jesus loves” (The Shack, pp. 164-165). The judgment of God is ultimately the judgment that we are worthy of love, (Not because we have earned the right to be found worthy, but simply because we are his children) for Jesus says “it is not the will of your Father that even one of these little ones should be lost” (Matt. 18: 14). Yet God’s love is not something that will be forced upon us. He gives us the freedom to accept or reject it. For “To all who received him, who believed in his name, he gave power to become children of God” (John 1: 12). Or as Papa says: “Reconciliation is a two way street, and I have done my part, totally, completely, finally. It is not the nature of love to force a relationship, but it is the nature of love to open the way’” (The Shack, p. 194). In the words of 2 Corinthians 5: 20: “We’re speaking for Christ himself now: Become friends with God, he’s already a friend with you.”