Christ as King and God
As king, Jesus also plays a mediating role between God and the world. The Messiah is the "anointed one," understood in Jewish terms to be the king who would restore the fortunes of Israel (e.g., Ps. of Sol. 17:21-25). God would thus use the Messiah to liberate Israel from its oppressors and renew its relationship with him. We find in the New Testament traces of messianic thinking in relation to Israel proper. Jesus does not deny a future restoration of the kingdom to Israel in Acts 1:6, and Acts 3:20 addresses a Jewish audience as it extends hope that God "may send the Messiah appointed for you, that is, Jesus" (cf. also Rom. 11:26).
Nevertheless, the New Testament expands the kingship of Christ well beyond the borders of Israel. The verse immediately following Acts 3:20 speaks of a coming apokata/stasis pa/ntwn in conjunction with Christ's return from heaven. Certainly part of Christ's kingship is now those who trust in him. "Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved" (Rom. 10:13 citing Joel 2:32). Since Christ is the way God has chosen to show his righteousness (cf. Rom. 1:17; 3:21; 10:3), submission to his lordship is submission to God's lordship.
For those who do not come to know the righteousness of God, whether Jew or Gentile, Christ will mediate judgment as God's representative. Indeed, "all of us must appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each may receive recompense for what has been done in the body, whether good or evil" (2 Cor. 5:10). Paul criticizes the Corinthians for their inability to make sound judgments among themselves when in fact "the saints will judge the world" (1 Cor. 6:2). Similarly, Matthew 19:28 predicts that Jesus' disciples will "sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel." In these ways, therefore, Jesus will mediate God's royal authority over all the people of the earth.
Christ's mediation, however, extends even beyond the realm of mortals to the realm of angels and demonic forces (e.g., 1 Cor. 6:3). Jesus' earthly ministry already demonstrated this fact as Jesus declares, "if it is by the finger of God that I cast out demons, then the kingdom of God has come to you" (Luke 11:20). Jesus' exorcisms thus mediated God's rule over the demonic forces that surrounded the earth to where Jesus could say that he "watched Satan fall from heaven like a flash of lightning" (Luke 10:18). Colossians, as it addresses a Jewish "philosophy" with a high view of angels, makes it clear that Jesus is the "firstborn of all creation" (1:15). All things were created through him--"things visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or powers" (1:16). He is indeed the "head of every ruler and authority" (2:10).
The Philippian hymn captures this cosmic lordship of Christ over all creation well when it gives God's demand that "at the name of Jesus every knee should bend, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord" (2:10-11). Paul does not understand this lordship of Christ to be independent of God. It is rather a lordship that mediates God's lordship. The confession of Jesus as Lord is "to the glory of God the Father" (Phil. 2:11). Indeed, the subordination of Christ's enemies to him occurs in preparation for the ultimate subordination of everything to God himself. "When all things are subjected to him [Christ], then the Son himself will also be subjected to the one who put all things in subjection under him, so that God may be all in all" (1 Cor. 15:28).
Christ's kingship thus represents and mediates God the Father's kingship over the entire creation. Jesus Christ is Lord, but "the LORD says to my Lord" to sit at his right hand (Ps. 110:1; cf. Mark 12:36-37). Jesus Christ is God whose throne is forever and ever (Heb. 1:8), but "God, your God, has anointed you" (Heb. 1:9). In each case, the lordship and divinity of Christ is subordinate and representative of the ultimate lordship and divinity of God the Father. Christ's kingship over the cosmos thus serves to mediate the kingship of God the Father.