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The Divine Yes!

The word which is really the first and the last word is undoubtedly that the man Jesus, like God himself, is not against men but for men-even for men in all the impossibility of their perversion, in their form as the men of the old world of Adam. The decisive point to which we now turn is that the royal man Jesus is the image and reflection of the divine Yes to man and his cosmos. It is God's critical Yes, dividing and disclosing and punishing with all the power of the sword. And in this respect too, as we shall see, there corresponds to it the Yes spoken in the existence of the man Jesus. But, like the Yes of God, it is really a Yes and not a No, even though it includes and is accompanied by a powerful No. It is the image and reflection of the love in which God has loved, and loves, and will love the world; of the faithfulness which he has sworn and will maintain; of the solidarity with it into which He has entered and in which He persists; of the hope of salvation and glory which he has given it by giving no less than Himself. The man Jesus is the royal man in the fact that He is not merely one man with others but the man for them (as God is for them), the man in whom the love and faithfulness and salvation and glory of God are addressed to in the concrete form of a historical relationship of man to man: and this is spite of their Adamic form; and therefore in spite of their own estrangement and fundamental error in respect of what they think to be good and true and beautiful and comforting and helpful and liberating and redemptive; in spite of their attempted safeguards against Him; and above all in spite of the misery to which they necessarily fall victim in this estrangement and error and the establishment of these safeguards. The divine Yes echoed by the royal man Jesus is the divine Word of comfort for this very misery, and only as such and working back as it were from it, for the human corruption which is the basis of it. God grapples with sin as he has mercy on the men who suffer in this way as sinners. His weapon against it is the Gospel, the good news of the end of their misery and the beginning of their redemption, the coming of His kingdom as the kingdom of peace on earth, the reconciliation of the world with Himself. The man Jesus is decisively created after God in the fact that He is as man the work and revelation of the mercy of God, of his Gospel, His kingdom of peace, His atonement, and that He is His creaturely and earthly and historical correspondence in this sense. - Karl Barth Church Dogmatics IV.2 pp. 180-81.


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