We're going to round out our Advent series by focusing on the first phrase of Isaiah 53:10. “Yet it PLEASED the Lord to crush Him.” You have to get your mind around the radical thing that this verse is communicating. How could it be that God the Father would ever find pleasure in the crushing of His Son?
If you’re a parent, think of the heart you have for your children. You know you fear for them and hurt for them. You do everything you can to protect your children from danger. So you have to look at this passage and ask, what could be so motivating in the heart of God that He would be willing to subject His Son to such a horrible thing? What could be so powerful that would allow Him to find pleasure in the crushing of His Son?
John 3:16 tells all. “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” God so loved the world that He would be willing to do this radical thing. God looked at our broken condition, separated in relationship to Him, and was filled with love and grace and compassion. God so loved the world that He was not willing for us to stay in that sinful state any longer.
Chances are, you've heard this important biblical truth many times. You've been told again and again about the love God has for you. But still, sometime next week or next month, or sometime in the next year, you'll be tempted to doubt the love of God. In some circumstance, some location, or some relationship, you'll be tempted to question the love of God.
Maybe it'll be a moment of physical suffering, and you wonder why God has allowed this pain to be your experience. Maybe it'll be in the midst of a very significant relational disappointment, and you wonder why God has brought this into your life.
Maybe it'll be in a moment of financial difficulty. You've sought to obey God and be a good steward of the resources He’s given to you, but you've lost your job, and it doesn't make any sense. Or maybe you'll look around at the world you live in, where evil looks to be prospering, and you'll wonder, “Where is God? Where is His love?”
Let me try to dispel these doubts with Romans 8:32 – “He who did not spare His own Son but gave Him up for us all, how will He not also with Him graciously give us all things?” Here's the logic: If God would do this radical thing to offer His Son to cruel suffering and death, it makes no sense for God to turn His back on you in your present moment of need. God will be faithful to you, and He will meet all your needs as you walk through this life towards eternity. Your guarantee is the Cross of Jesus Christ.
Now, we need to talk about this word “need”. You and I have a terrible problem with the word. We load all kinds of things onto our needs list that are not needs. The Apostle Paul isn’t saying that God is going to sign your wish list. But your Creator knows what you actually need, and He is totally committed to meet all of them.
You don’t have to be afraid. You don’t have to play out all the ‘what ifs’. You don’t have to figure out the sovereignty of God. There are moments in life when God will confuse you. There are moments when it seems like God is distant. When an enemy is whispering in your ear, “Where is your God now?” you have a place to run. Open your Bible to Isaiah 53:10 and Romans 8:32 and remind yourself of this redemptive reality: If God would crush His Son for me, will He not meet all of my needs today?
Here's the Redemptive Plan. Jesus died so that your sins would be forgiven. Jesus died so that your future would be sealed in eternity. And Jesus died so that you can live with peace, rest, and productivity until He returns. The Cross - the crushing of Christ - guarantees that you have everything you need to live right here, right now.
- Write down a "Top Ten" list of things that give your heart pleasure?
- How painful would it be for you to willingly crush your child and cause them to suffer?
- Reflect on times, in the past or perhaps currently, where you have doubted the love of God.
- What are some things that you have named as "needs" that might simply be "wish-list" items?
Paul David Tripp