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Welcome to our staff blog. We will be blogging about current events from a Christian perspective, expanding on our weekly message, or just blogging about interesting items we feel could be relevant to your Christian walk. Check back often and feel free to leave us a comment on each entry! God Bless!
To Please His Heavenly Father
February 05, 2016
Jesus did not wrestle his angry Father to the floor
of heaven and take the whip out of His hand. He did not force Him
to be merciful to humanity. His death was not the begrudging
consent of God to be lenient to sinners. No, what Jesus did when He
suffered and died was the Father’s idea. It was a breathtaking strategy,
conceived even before creation, as God saw and planned the history of
the world. That is why the Bible speaks of God’s “purpose and grace,
which He gave us in Christ Jesus before the ages began” (2 Timothy 1:9).
Already in the Jewish Scriptures the plan was unfolding. The prophet
Isaiah foretold the sufferings of the Messiah, who was to take the place of
sinners. He said that the Christ would be “smitten by God” in our place.
Surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed
him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our
transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities.... 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. (Isaiah 53:4-6)
But what is most astonishing about this substitution of Christ for sinners
is that it was God’s idea. Christ did not intrude on God’s plan to punish
sinners. God planned for Him to be there. One Old Testament prophet
says, “It was the will of the LORD to crush him; he has put him to grief ”
This explains the paradox of the New Testament. On the one hand, the
suffering of Christ is an outpouring of God’s wrath because of sin. But on the
other hand, Christ’s suffering is a beautiful act of submission and obedience
to the will of the Father. So Christ cried from the cross, “My God, my God,
why have you forsaken me?” (Matthew 27:46). And yet the Bible says that
the suffering of Christ was a fragrance to God. “Christ loved us and gave
himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God” (Ephesians 5:2).
Oh, that we might worship the terrible wonder of the love of God! It is
not sentimental. It is not simple. For our sake God did the impossible: He
poured out His wrath on His own Son—the one whose submission made
Him infinitely unworthy to receive it. Yet the Son’s very willingness to
receive it was precious in God’s sight. The Wrath-Bearer was infinitely loved.
Dale Baker, our Student Ministry Team Leader has been at Parkway three years