Last week I talked about how God hates sinners in the first 50 Psalms. How this tied into the statement “God hates the sin, but loves the sinner.”
And how that particular post was only half the story.
Let’s look at the other half today.
God Curses Christ for Our Sins
Christ did not deserve to die. But it was God’s will that Jesus die. And Jesus knew that he would die:
And He went a little beyond them, and fell on His face and prayed, saying, “My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; yet not as I will, but as You will.” Matthew 26:39
saying, “Father, if You are willing, remove this cup from Me; yet not My will, but Yours be done.” Luke 22:42
Now My soul has become troubled; and what shall I say, ‘ Father, save Me from this hour’? But for this purpose I came to this hour. John 12:27
this Man, delivered over by the predetermined plan and foreknowledge of God, you nailed to a cross by the hands of [a]godless men and put Him to death.
That is a hard-to-follow obedience.
It is meant to be hard. To be worth more than anything on this earth.
As Matt Chandler said in the Explicit Gospel, Jesus Christ is where God’s severity and kindness meet.
An unusual kindness. A kindness demonstrated by God cursing His own son:
Christ redeemed us from the curse of the Law, having become a curse for us—for it is written, “ Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree.” Galatians 3:13
By bearing God’s wrath on the cross for believers’ sins, Christ took upon Himself the curse pronounced on us.
All of us.
We are all under a curse. Because God’s holiness demands it. Just one violation of the law and we are under that curse, and we become the sinners God hates, crushes and cuts off.
Fortunately, that is not where the story ends.
God Crushes Christ for Our Sins
Read those fourteen Psalms again.
Do you feel the magnitude of grief that overwhelms your soul? The sickness of sin that builds as you read?
Do you feel safe? Hopeless? Cursed?
Do you understand what is meant by the severity of the Lord? What’s at stake if we neglect that wrath? And do you comprehend how much sweeter, in comparison, is His kindness?
Keep in mind that God’s kindness towards us meant that he would have to crush Christ:
But the Lord was pleased
To crush Him, putting Him to grief;
If He would render Himself as a guilt offering,
He will see His offspring,
He will prolong His days,
And the good pleasure of the Lord will prosper in His hand.
As a result of the anguish of His soul,
He will see it and be satisfied;
By His knowledge the Righteous One,
My Servant, will justify the many,
As He will bear their iniquities. Isaiah 53:10-11
Jesus’ pain and death–to suffer the consequences of the wrath of God–was meant to redeem our sins. This is propitiation–the gift that satisfied God’s wrath for our sins.
6 Gifts Propitiation Gives Us
That gift bore other gifts in our favor:
We are freed from the slavery of our debt to sin to become a purified people. “Who gave Himself for us to redeem us from every lawless deed, and to purify for Himself a people for His own possession, zealous for good deeds.” Titus 2:14
We are freed by one who perfectly kept the law–something we could never accomplish. “Knowing that you were not redeemed with perishable things like silver or gold from your futile way of life inherited from your forefathers, but with precious blood, as of a lamb unblemished and spotless, the blood of Christ.” 1 Peter 1:18-19
We are a people who appear sinless before God. “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, being justified as a gift by His grace through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus.” Romans 3:23-24
We are a people who appear sinless only because Christ is in us. “But by His doing you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, and righteousness and sanctification, and redemption.” 1 Corinthians 1:30
We are citizens of a new country. “For He rescued us from the domain of darkness, and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.” Colossians 1:13-14
We are a people who avoided eternal punishment–and enjoy the promise of eternal redemption. “And not through the blood of goats and calves, but through His own blood, He entered the holy place once for all, having obtained eternal redemption.” Hebrews 9:12
Gift upon gift we receive. None do we deserve. None. This is the sweetness of God cursing and crushing Christ on our behalf.
It should produce in us a reckless but beautiful act of worship.
Why I Waited Until Today
Let me be frank with you. It was not easy dropping the “God Hates Sinners” post on Friday and waiting all weekend to publish the follow-up.
That post was a heavy-duty diagnosis left hanging over your head.
I’m sure it annoyed some. Upset a few. Frustrated others. Why would I misrepresent God? Give an incomplete story? (Or perhaps even a false one at that.)
I didn’t do that on purpose. I don’t blog on the weekend so I had to wait until today.
But I don’t apologize for the waiting.
Most of us know the ending. The good news. That we have peace with God through the death of Christ.
But I wanted to help you get a deeper glimpse of what Jesus’ death meant.
I wanted to help you see the epic nature of the cross of Christ.
The magnitude in which it reaches–touching the very essence of an infinite and omnipotent and holy and just God reaching across the unending darkness to rescue a finite and weak and corrupt and lawless being.
And hopefully the two-day delay let you meditate on that truth.
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