“Yet, it pleased the Lord to bruise Him;” –Isaiah 53:10
This passage, in the context of Jesus on the cross, sets out a bloody picture of what is pleasing unto our God. Some translations even say that it pleased the Lord to crush His Son. How could a loving God be thus pleased with Jesus who knew no sin, becoming sin for us?
What kind of sadistic God would delight in the torturous, humbling, gruesome death of His own Son on the cross? Understand the nature of God for a moment. This God is the best and most glorious of all beings. If there we’re no people praising Him, the rocks would cry out in praise. If there were no rocks or other created matter, God Himself would praise His own glory. Not only does God command us to praise Him, He praises Himself. For if God did not praise Himself, love Himself most, whatever He loved and praised would be God.
Caleb Allen, a pastor in the Houston area of Texas spoke using similar language in a Good Friday message last night, which touched my heart. I don’t get affected or reached by much, but this message had me thinking and feeling things regarding Christ on the cross. More, it had me reeling from my preconceptions of this event in history.
Why Was God Pleased?
Understand this about your God and mine: He is worthy of ALL glory.
“When we prostitute ourselves to the world and chose sin over God, it is offensive to the greatest and the best God offers us. It is as if we look God straight in the eyes and say ‘You are ugly”, because we call sin more beautiful and more worthy.” –Caleb Allen
I paraphrase slightly, but the gist of what He was saying is that God is offering us everything we need, and better than the world gives. Why would we exchange the greatness of God for corruptible and contemptible sin? It is an affront to God. It hurts Him! There is no little sin. There is no, “oops, I messed up”, you didn’t just slip and sin a little, you struck the hammer which drove the nail into the hand of the Savior.
I wear a ring on my finger which is an actual nail that I bent and shaped into a ring. Why? Because I want to remember always, that my sin drove the nails into His hands and feet. But the nails that pierced His hands were the nails that pierced my heart.
I can’t live the way I want when I realize that my sin hurts my Savior.
Jesus, the Most Worthy
Because Jesus was God and Man; because He was the only one of value and of innocence who could pay the price for our sin, His death was beautiful. Jesus was the perfect conduit of God’s glory. His life was a beacon of glory to God and that perfect life of obedience was pleasing. More, because God’s wrath against sin was put off for thousands of years, this perfect sacrifice to propitiate, or absorb the wrath of God was the greatest display of God’s glory.
God’s plan ofd redemption from before the foundation of the world was being completed on the cross. It pleased God to crush sin. It pleased God to perfect His plan. And because Christ’s display of obedience unto death showed the greatness of God’s glory: He was pleased to bruise His Son.
A flower releases its most fragrant aroma when bruised or crushed. So what pleases God? Our righteousness? God says ALL our righteousness are as filthy rags before God. All the good things you do are as a stench unto the Lord. But Christ, who knew no sin, willingly gave His life and obediently took up the cross, became our sin that we might become HIS righteousness.
His righteousness pleases God. His obedience pleases God. The glory of God displayed through Christ and given back to God pleases Him. Our righteousness stinks, His righteousness is a sweet smelling savor to God. When we are saved, we are cloaked in the righteousness of Christ that we might stand justified and pleasing unto God.
Christ pleases God. Jesus Christ in you pleases God. Do you really want to please God? Follow the example of Jesus in life, and even unto death. Be utterly obedient to God, honor Him and return all glory to its rightful place: at the foot of His throne.
As always, thanks for reading.
—the anonymous novelist