“Surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted.” (Isaiah 53:4)
By taking our sin, Jesus faced the unimaginable sorrow of absorbing the Father’s righteous, just wrath. At the cross, Jesus was rejected for us so that we might be accepted in him. There was also the pain of being betrayed, not just by the creatures he made, or even his own people, but also by one of his disciples. But the Bible (and Isaiah 53:4) also connects the grief and sorrow of Jesus specifically to the sin he bore for us. 2 Corinthians 5:21 says, “For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” And then Galatians 3:13, Paul adds, “Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us.”
Continue reading The Great Exchange: Sorrow for Joy
This post continues a series on The Love of the Father. Below are the prior posts.
Reasons We Struggle to Experience God’s Love
Seven Features of God’s Fatherly Love
God’s Love in Revealing Himself
There are many proofs of God’s love scattered throughout the pages of Scripture. We notice further testimony of God’s loving kindness in his mercy and gifts both in creation around us and in our lives every single day. But there is no greater demonstration of God’s love than in the Father sending his only Son to save us. If the evidences of God’s love were a mountain, with new discoveries and greater examples of his love unfolding as we climb higher and higher in the knowledge of God, at the very top would still be the costliest, most needed, and most valuable of all gifts ever given: Jesus. The gift of Jesus includes not just that he was sent (incarnation) but that he was sent with the mission of a dying on the cross in our place, taking the punishment we deserved.
Continue reading The Father’s Love in Sending His Son
There is no more fundamental problem for us as human beings than how we deal with our sin before a holy God. Sin is wrong-doing and law-breaking. A holy and just God cannot look the other way and let crimes go unpunished. They must be dealt with. That puts you and I in quite the predicament. Sin creates guilt before God, guilt and shame we sometimes feel strongly. It incurs death. It separates us from God. It corrupts and makes us feel unclean. Our biggest problem in life is a sin-problem. So how do we deal with that? How do we get a clean slate? How do fix what’s broken? That’s the deep human question and it’s behind so much of every religion’s quest to make right or atone for sin.
Continue reading Hebrews Reading Plan: Day 18 (Heb. 9:11-28)
Like any good narrative, the Bible uses literary devices such as metaphors, double-meanings, paradoxes, and irony. The New Testament authors often used irony to draw out the difference between how mankind sees things and how God sees things. Irony shows the sharp contrast between expectations and realities as well as between intent and effect. A third way authors employ irony is to highlight something the readers know that the characters in the story would have been unaware of. In Colossians 2:13-15 Paul provides at least four ironies tied to the cross of Jesus Christ.
Continue reading 4 Ironies of the Cross