The Special of the Day… From the Orange Moon Cafe…
"To Bruise Him"
Any loving parent would rather die than have their child pass through "the valley of the shadow" (Psalm 23:4). Indeed, in the first moment of seeing one's first baby, an awareness arises from somewhere deep in the heart that the child's welfare transcends all personal benefit and preservation.
"And they took Joseph's coat, and killed a kid of the goats, and dipped the coat in the blood, and they sent the coat of many colors, and they brought it to their father; and said, This have we found: know now whether it be thy son's coat or no. And he knew it, and said, It is my son's coat; an evil beast hath devoured him; Joseph is without doubt rent in pieces. And Jacob rent his clothes, and put sackcloth upon his loins, and mourned for his son many days. And all his sons and all his daughters rose up to comfort him; but he refused to be comforted; and he said, For I will go down into the grave unto my son mourning. Thus his father wept for him" (Genesis 37:31-35).
Actually, such love for an offspring originates in the eternal and infinite depths of love that grace the heart of God. "This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased" declared God the Father of the Lord Jesus Christ (Matthew 3:17). All human devotion to our children reflects the eternal affection and commitment of the Father for the Son. The God who originally made humanity in His image imprinted within us the preciousness of sons and daughters to bear witness of His love, the love of a Father for a Son.
What then would it have meant in God's heart to lay upon His beloved Son the sins of those who rejected Him? What would it have meant that "He hath made Him to be sin for us, who knew no sin, that that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him?" (II Corinthians 5:21). The Bible never directly addresses the issue, except to declare an enigma that must surely stop every reader of Scripture in our tracks when happening upon it:
"It pleased the Lord to bruise Him" (Isaiah 53:10).
How can this be? How can God the Father have found pleasure in "bruising" the Lord Jesus He so loves? Through more than forty years of considering the question, only one answer has merit in my mind. Certainly, in the personal sense, it did not please the Father to bruise His Son. Just the opposite must surely have been the case. "The Father loveth the Son" (John 3:35). Therefore, it must have pleased God in the sense of knowing what would result from sending His Son to Calvary and pouring out His wrath upon Him. He knew we would happen. Yes, our Heavenly Father knew that lost human hearts dear to Him would be redeemed through the blood of His precious Lamb, and our precious Lord. He knew that those who believe and receive the free gift purchased by our Savior's loss would become His beloved sons and daughters. "To as many as received Him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on His name" (James 1:12).
The Lord Jesus prayed that the love He had eternally known with His Father would become the love we know (John 17:26). He then suffered and died on the cross of Calvary to serve as the answer to His own prayer. Thereby, "the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Spirit which is given unto us" (Romans 5:5). We will never know what it did in the heart of God the Father to smite His own Son with wrath, forsakenness, and death. But we can and will forever know what it did in our hearts. God's love for us came to us, and evermore dwells within us through the Holy Spirit. "It pleased the Lord to bruise Him" because it pleased the Lord to redeem us, and because in a wonder beyond all comprehension, He loves us as He loves the Lord Jesus.
"And the glory which Thou gavest Me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one: I in them, and Thou in Me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that Thou hast sent Me, and hast loved them, as Thou hast loved Me."
Weekly Memory Verse
Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment.