It Was the Will of the Lord to Crush Him
In this article we shall be dealing with truths like the wrath of God, our sin, redemption, propitiation, atonement, imputation, the mercy of God and His matchless grace. These are extremely important truths that the Church and individual Christians must grapple with as we think of the season of Lent (most main line churches observe this 40 days of penitence), Passion Week and, the more important, Good Friday and Easter. I am primarily working through Isaiah 53:1-12. Please read the passage and keep it open before you and refer to it as you read this article.
- THE FATHER’S WILL AND THE SON’S WILLINGNESS: 10
Yet it was the will of the LORD to crush him; he has put him to grief; when his soul makes an offering for guilt, he shall see his offspring; he shall prolong his days; the will of the LORD shall prosper in his hand.
There are several important truths that Isaiah points out in v. 10. The suffering of Jesus Christ and His death was a definite plan and in the foreknowledge of God. Read Acts 2:23 as well on this. The same truth comes through in Rom. 8:32 which tells us, He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all …
Jesus Himself emphasized this. In Jn. 10:14-18 Jesus said, “I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me, just as the Father knows me and I know the Father; and I lay down my life for the sheep. And I have other sheep that are not of this fold. I must bring them also, and they will listen to my voice. So there will be one flock, one shepherd. For this reason the Father loves me, because I lay down my life that I may take it up again. No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down, and I have authority to take it up again. This charge I have received from my Father.”
God wanted to kill His Son and God did exactly that on Good Friday. God became incarnate and in human flesh was able to suffer and die – God cannot die so God became man for that very purpose – so He could die. The Jews nor the Romans were used by God to execute His plan to kill His Son as the substitute for sinners. There is more to understand from Isaiah …
- THE FATHER’S WRATH AND THE SON’S BEING CRUSHED: 4-6
Most Christians don’t believe in God’s wrath. Christians don’t talk about it and pastors don’t preach about the wrath of God. The bible emphasizes God’s wrath.
- The Reason for God’s Wrath: 4-6
Let’s look at what Isaiah writes bit by bit, from vs. 4-6. But first look at Rom. 1:18ff and take note that the wrath of God is not in the future but already in operation against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men. Read through to the end of Romans 1. In Isaiah 53:4-6 notice the following.
He has borne our griefs and sorrows – in v. 4a it says, Surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows. Further, in v. 5 it Isaiah says, But he was pierced for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his wounds we are healed.
All of us will, without argument, agree that all humans are sinner and have gone astray from God and His ways. That too was laid on Jesus, according to v. 6: All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned—every one—to his own way; and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all.
These facts are taught in the rest of the bible. Jesus is called the Lamb of God – Jn. 1:29. In Rev. 13:8 the bible says Jesus was slain before the foundation of the world. We us the words Jehovah Jireh lightly when referring to God meeting all our needs. However, a deeper study of Gen. 22:7-8, 14 will help us understand that Jehovah Jireh was used to refer to the fact that God Himself will provide a substitute sacrifice. The statement “on the mountain of the LORD it will be provided” (v. 14) goes beyond Mt. Moriah to a hill called Calvary, where God “did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all” (Rom. 8:32). Abraham’s faith that “God himself will provide the lamb” links with John the Baptist’s, “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!” (Jn. 1:29).
Because God is angry and full of wrath against sinners He punishes sinners with death. That is God’s justice. God’s mercy, however, makes Jesus the righteous One the substitute Who takes the punishment upon Himself and dies for repentant sinners.
- The Son’s Being Crushed: 3, 7-8, 11
He was despised and rejected by men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief; and as one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not.
Isaiah makes that clear. Jesus died for sinners.
He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth; like a lamb that is led to the slaughter, and like a sheep that before its shearers is silent, so he opened not his mouth. By oppression and judgment he was taken away; and as for his generation, who considered that he was cut off out of the land of the living, stricken for the transgression of my people?
The Wrath of God that is upon sinners is put upon Jesus: v. 4b … yet we esteemed him stricken; smitten of God and afflicted
There are several words we use, unfortunately not often enough to become part of our common vocabulary. Let’s look at some of them.
- IMPORTANT & MEANINGFUL WORDS OF GOOD FRIDAY:
- REDEMPTION: Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse … Gal. 3:13 (cf. Deut. 21:23). Look also at Deut. 11:26-29; 27:1-26; 30:15-19.
Turn to 1 Jn. 2:2; 4:10 to understand a couple of other words that are important to take us deeper to the meaning of Good Friday. I hope you read the verses mentioned in 1 Jn. The important words are …
- PROPITIATION and ATONEMENT: These words convey the truth that there is the turning away of wrath by a bloody, violent sacrifice. Propitiation involves the placating or satisfying of the wrath of God by the atoning sacrifice of Christ – the complete satisfaction of the wrath of God. Jesus’ death quenches God’s righteous anger. Rom. 3:25 puts it thus: whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith. This was to show God’s righteousness, because in his divine forbearance he had passed over former sins.
Look at Is. 53:11, Out of the anguish of his soul he shall see and be satisfied; by his knowledge shall the righteous one, my servant, make many to be accounted righteous, and he shall bear their iniquities.
The Importance of understanding the wrath of God makes the Tax Collector cry out, “God, be merciful to me a sinner”.
- The Reality of IMPUTATION: In Isaiah 53:5 teaches us that Jesus’ death brought us peace and we are healed. The word “imputation” is an accounting term meaning credited. Our sins are placed upon Jesus and His righteousness is transferred into our account.
Rom. 3:26 says, It was to show his righteousness at the present time, so that he might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus. The clearest text on this is 2 Cor. 5:21 where it says, For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.
We must not forget the importance of MERCY and GRACE in all this. Read Eph. 2:4-7. It says, But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved—and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.
If it was not for the sheer mercy and grace of God we would perish under His wrath. We use these words as carelessly as we use most other important biblical words. Grace is usually thought of as God’s undeserving favour towards us. When asked to define mercy, we are a bit stuck and sometimes use this word inter-changeably with the word grace. Think of mercy as God not giving us what we deserve. Grace is God giving us what we don’t deserve.