"The Why of Love"
"Ought not Christ to have suffered, and entered into His glory?" (Luke 24:26).
Human reasoning would conclude that the Lord Jesus Christ should not have entered His glory by way of suffering. While "tempted in all points like as we are", our Savior never succumbed to the enticement to sin (Hebrews 4:15). Since the Biblical standard mandates "the soul that sinneth, it shall die", justice would seem to dictate that that Lord Jesus should "enter into His glory" by the way of life rather than death (Ezekiel 18:4). Instead, He was "marred more than any man" at the hands of sinful humanity, and "smitten of God" with Divine wrath and forsakenness when He died on the cross of Calvary (Isaiah 52:14; 53:4). The Prince of life, and the One whose being constitutes the very essence of life, died. How can such a thing have happened?
Far more than "How?", we should turn our attention to "Why?" The answer lies in the very heart of the Gospel message.
"Christ also suffered for us, who His own self bore our sins in His own body on the tree, that we being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness" (I Peter 2:21; 24).
"He hath made Him to be sin for us, who knew no sin, that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him" (II Corinthians 5:21).
Somehow, the King of righteousness became that which He was not, a mystery beyond comprehension. He "bore our sins", and even more, was "made to be sin". That which is not beyond comprehension is the reason, namely, that God so loves us as to deliver us from the unrighteousness we are apart from Christ. Servants of sin become sons and daughters of righteousness because the Son of God yielded Himself to that which was completely foreign to His holy soul. To the degree that the Lord Jesus bore and even became our sins on the cross, believers bear and become His righteousness. Thus, according to God's reasoning and purpose, we "ought" to be redeemed by freely given grace and mercy because according to the same purpose, the Lord Jesus "ought" to have suffered. The Why explains the "ought", the Why of love. The How we will never understand.
Again, this is the heart of the Gospel, the foundational truth from which we should never venture too far. We are who we are and are "accepted in the Beloved" because the Beloved become the object of God's wrath rather than His love (Ephesians 1:6). We do well to make it personal, realizing the degree of grace and mercy we have known because of so great a gift, granted to us by so high a cost. Yes, according to the purposes of our Heavenly Father, His perfect Son "ought to have suffered" for the wondrous purpose of saving us from our willful imperfection. How can such a thing be? We will never know. However, we do know why, the Why of love.
"In due time Christ died for the ungodly. For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die. But God commendeth His love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, being now justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him."
Weekly Memory Verse
I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; for kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty.
(I Timothy 2:1-2)