“Yet it pleased the Lord to bruise him; he hath put him to grief: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the Lord shall prosper in his hand.” Isaiah 53:10
Suggested Further Reading: Acts 4:23-31
He who reads the Bible with the eye of faith, desiring to discover its hidden secrets, sees something more in the Saviour’s death than Roman cruelty or Jewish malice: he sees the solemn decree of God fulfilled by men, who were the ignorant, but guilty instruments of its accomplishment. He looks beyond the Roman spear and nail, beyond the Jewish taunt and jeer, up to the sacred fount, whence all things flow, and traces the crucifixion of Christ to the breast of deity. He believes with Peter—“Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain.” We dare not impute to God the sin, but at the same time the fact, with all its marvellous effects in the world’s redemption, we must ever trace to the sacred fountain of divine love. So does our prophet. He says, “It pleased Jehovah to bruise him.” He overlooks both Pilate and Herod, and traces it to the heavenly Father, the first person in the divine trinity. “It pleased the Lord to bruise him; he hath put him to grief.” Now, beloved, there be many who think that God the Father is at best but an indifferent spectator of salvation. Others belie him still more. They look upon him as an unloving, severe being, who had no love to the human race, and could only be made loving by the death and agonies of our Saviour. Now, this is a foul libel upon the fair and glorious grace of God the Father, to whom for ever be honour: for Jesus Christ did not die to make God loving, but he died because God was loving.
“‘Twas not to make Jehovah’s love ‘Twas not the death which he endured,
Towards his people flame, Nor all the pangs he bore,
That Jesus from the throne above, That God’s eternal love procured,
A suff’ring man became. For God was love before.”
For meditation: Who so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son (John 3:16)?
Sermon no. 173
24 January (1858)