What kingdom did Christ deliver up to the Father?
From "the Parousia , 1878, by James S. Russell"
There is one point of time constantly indicated in the New Testament as the consummation of the kingdom of God. Our Lord declared that there were some among His disciples who should live to see Him coming in His kingdom. This coming of course, is synonymous with the coming of the kingdom, and limits the occurrence of the event to the then existing generation. That is to say, the consummation of the kingdom synchronizes with the judgment of Israel and the destruction of Jerusalem, all being parts of one great catastrophe. It was at that period that the Son of man was to come in the glory of His Father, and to sit upon the throne of His glory; to render a reward to His servants and retribution to His enemies (Mt.xxv:31). We find these events uniformly associated together in the N.T.,- the coming of the King, the resurrection of the dead, the judgment of the righteous & wicked, the consummation of the kingdom, the end of the age.
Thus St. Paul, in 2Tim4:5 says, 'I charge thee therefore, before God and the Lord Jesus Christ, who is about to judge the living and the dead at his appearing and His kingdom.' The coming, the judgment the kingdom are all coincident and contemporaneous, and not only so, but also nigh at hand; for the apostle says, 'Who is about to judge; who shall soon judge." (Greek words).
It is perfectly clear, then, according to the N.T, that that the consummation, or winding up, of the Theocratic kingdom took place at the period of the destruction of Jerusalem and the judgment of Israel. The Theocracy had served its purpose; the experiment had been tried whether or no the covenant nation would prove loyal to their King. It had failed; Israel had rejected her King; and it only remained that the penalties of the violated covenant should be enforced. We see the result in the ruin of their city, the effacement of the nation, and the abrogation of the law of Moses, accompanied with scenes of horror and suffering. That great catastrophe, therefore, marks the conclusion of the Theocratic kingdom.
It had been from the beginning of a strictly national character- it was the divine Kingship over Israel. It necessarily terminated, therefore, with the termination of the national existence of Israel, when the outward and visible symbols of the divine Presence and Sovereignty passed away; when the house of God, the city of God, and the people of God were effeaced from existence by one desolating and final catastrophe.
This enables us to understand the language of St. Paul when, speaking of the coming of Christ, he represents that event as marking 'the end' (Gr. words) when He shall deliver up the kingdom to God, even the Father' (1Cor.xv.24)
This has caused much perplexity to many theologians and commentators, who have seemed it as derogatory to the divinity of the Son of God that He should resign His mediatorial functions and his kingly character, and sink, as it were, into the position of private person, becoming subject instead of sovereign.
But the embarrassment has arisen from overlooking the nature of the kingdom which the Son had administered, and which He at length surrenders. It was the Messianic kingdom over Israel: that peculiar and unique government exercised over the covenant nation, and administered by the mediatorship of the Son of God for so many ages. That relation was now dissolved, for the nation had been judged, the temple destroyed, and the symbols of divine Sovereignty removed. Why should the Theocratic kingdom be continued any longer? There was nothing to administer. There was no longer a covenant nation, the covenant was broken, and Israel ceased to exist as a distinct nationality.
What more natural and proper, therefore, than at such a juncture for the Mediator to resign His mediatorial functions, and to deliver up the insignia of government into which He received them? Ages before that period the Father had invested the Son with viceregal functions of the Theocracy. It had proclaimed, ' I have set my King upon my holy hill of Zion: I will declare the decree; the Lord hath said to me, Thou art my Son, this day I have begotten thee' (Ps.ii.6,7).
The purpose for which the Son had assumed the administration of the Theocratic government had been effected. The covenant was dissolved, its violation avenged, the enemies of Christ and of God were destroyed; the true and faithful servants were rewarded, and the Theocracy came to an end. This was surely the fitting moment for the Mediator to resign His charge into the hands of the Father, that is to say, ' to deliver up the kingdom.'
But there is nothing derogatory to the dignity of the Son. On the contrary, 'He is the Mediator of a better covenant.'
I will continue with this later. His exerpt 'The kingdom of God, or of heaven' is 5 pages, so I must find the most concise & explanatory paragraphs.
But this is an introduction to covenant theology.
Here I suggest (as does this author) that the "end of the age" was the end of the Old Covenant & law, never the end of the Christian age. That is not seen in the Bible. The opposite is true. His kingdom never ends.(Dan2) Same as-The church age never ends.(Eph.3:20-21)