(Article for publication week of 5-4-2011 AD)
"…it pleased the Lord to bruise Him" (Isaiah 53:10). Nowhere is the justice of God so gloriously exhibited than at the cross of Calvary. For as we read in our text, it pleased the Lord to bruise His only begotten Son, the Lord Jesus Christ.
Though it was through the agency of men that Christ was crucified, it was according to God’s predetermined purpose (Acts 2:23). Our text tells us that ultimately it was God the Father Who punished God the Son. “It pleased the Lord to bruise Him.” Pause my soul and adore and wonder! The death of Christ was a pleasing thing to God!
The Lord Jesus Christ deserved no punishment of His Own. He had no sins of His Own for which He must needs be punished. He “knew no sin” (II Corinthians 5:21). He was ‘holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners” (Hebrews 7:26). Our Lord Jesus Christ kept the law perfectly in deed and thought. Why then needs He be bruised?
He was bruised because he was a sin bearer. God is so exact in His justice that he must punish sin. He must punish the sinner, or he must punish the sin bearer. Christ became a sin bearer for His elect people and was punished in their room and stead. The Bible tells us that he became a curse for us (Galatians 3:13). We also read that he “was made sin for us” (II Corinthians 5:21). God the Father imputed the sins of His people to His Eternal Son and charged Him with our transgressions. Thus Christ became a sin bearer. And so as a sin bearer He must be punished as a sinner.
This was also pleasing to the Son, for He willingly took upon Himself all the obligations of His people in the everlasting covenant made by the great Three in One. He came down from heaven to do His Father’s will, and the Father’s will was the same as his Own, for we read “these Three are One” (I John 5:7), and “I and my Father are One “ (John 10:30). And the will of the Father, Son and Spirit was that God’s covenant people should be redeemed from their sins and be justified before God.
And so you see dear readers, the crucifixion of our blessed Lord was a just thing. He was charged with the guilt of our sins and was punished for our sins. Now the amazing thing is that God is so just that He will not punish sin twice. He will not punish His people since He punished our Surety. And so our salvation is on the grounds of God’s strict, exact, inflexible justice. The believer’s sins are all taken away! Christ was punished for all my sins, past, present and future. And that my dear readers is the gospel.