What would you say if I told you that God created someone, gave Him life and breath, just so that he could be crushed by God? How could it be God's will to crush anyone? Anyone other than Satan that is.
No, this is not a post on reprobation. This is a post about Christ. And no, Christ was not created, unless you count His body as a created thing. And no, God did not give Him life and breath, because He already had life in himself. But God did have a specific purpose in sending His Son into this world. It was His will to crush Him.
It was the will of God to take an innocent man, who had never had the slightest impulse to think anything wrong, and treat Him like a common criminal. It was His will to whip His flesh, pluck His beard, beat Him, and eventually kill Him.
No doubt to the Jewish reader, Isaiah's statement seemed irreconcilable with other prophecies of the coming Messiah. Prophecies of the Messiah marching triumphantly into Jerusalem and an era of peace as the world has never known being established through His reign. Prophecies of glory and grandeur. But then Isaiah comes along and ruins it for everyone.
Who has believed what they heard from us? And to whom has the arm of the LORD been revealed? For he grew up before him like a young plant, and like a root out of dry ground; he had no form or majesty that we should look at him, and no beauty that we should desire him. He was despised and rejected by men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief; and as one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not. 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; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his stripes we are healed. 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. He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth; like a lamb that is led to the slaughter, and like a sheep that before its shearers is silent, so he opened not his mouth. By oppression and judgment he was taken away; and as for his generation, who considered that he was cut off out of the land of the living, stricken for the transgression of my people? And they made his grave with the wicked and with a rich man in his death, although he had done no violence, and there was no deceit in his mouth. Yet it was the will of the LORD to crush him; he has put him to grief; when his soul makes an offering for sin, he shall see his offspring; he shall prolong his days; the will of the LORD shall prosper in his hand. Out of the anguish of his soul he shall see and be satisfied; by his knowledge shall the righteous one, my servant, make many to be accounted righteous, and he shall bear their iniquities. Therefore I will divide him a portion with the many, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong, because he poured out his soul to death and was numbered with the transgressors; yet he bore the sin of many, and makes intercession for the transgressors. (Isa 53:1-12)Hard words for the Jews, right? But these are hard words for many Christians today. To think that God had anything to do with the crucifixion of Christ is blasphemous to many. And yet if Scripture is clear on anything, it is clear on this point, the Father sent His Son into the world to be His sacrifice. Christ died for God.
But didn't the Jews kill Jesus? Technically, no. The Romans did. All of that is beside the point. It was God who delivered Him up by His predetermined plan.
"Men of Israel, hear these words: Jesus of Nazareth, a man attested to you by God with mighty works and wonders and signs that God did through him in your midst, as you yourselves know-- this Jesus, delivered up according to the definite plan and foreknowledge of God, you crucified and killed by the hands of lawless men. (Act 2:22-23)The question then is, "Why? Why would a loving Father do this to His only Son?" The answer is a great mystery, yet a revealed mystery. God did it to make Christ an offering for sin. See, Satan is not God's only enemy, sin is also an enemy. Everyone who sins is an enemy. That is what is so mysterious to sinners about the death of Christ. God sent Christ to be a propitiation for sin. Christ as the propitiation for sin is also the expiation for sinners. Paul puts this very simply;
...for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith. This was to show God's righteousness, because in his divine forbearance he had passed over former sins. It was to show his righteousness at the present time, so that he might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus. (Rom 3:23-26)Why does God deal with sin in this way? So that He might be the Just and the Justifier of all who come to Christ in faith. Why does God make a plan to send His Son into the world and kill Him? So that both Father and Son might receive all the glory that they deserve. In the very next verse Paul says,
Then what becomes of our boasting? It is excluded. By what kind of law? By a law of works? No, but by the law of faith. (Rom 3:27)The great object of the plan of salvation is God. It is God who deserves glory from his creatures. It is the creature who deserves the wrath of God for not giving to God what He deserves, that is, glory. It is God's passion for His own glory that sends His Son into the world, that crushes the Son, that raises the Son, and that calls sinners to Christ. It is God's passion for His own glory that justifies sinners. It is God's glory that gives sinners this new heart of worship through the cross.
God forbid that I should boast, except in the cross of Christ.