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“The Manifold Wisdom of God”
Displayed in the Choice of Christ as Our Redeemer
The Lord Jesus Christ is in every way a fit and proper Person to be our Redeemer. He who undertakes to redeem sinners, satisfy justice, make reconciliation for transgressors, and atone for sin must be a divine person.
A Fit Redeemer
None but God could be equal to the great work of redemption. The Redeemer must be One who is infinitely holy. None could take away the infinite evil of sin, but One who is infinitely pure. None can make satisfaction, except him who is of infinite worth and merit. He who undertakes the redemption of sinners must be a person of infinite ability. The work of redemption is a great and mighty work, requiring both wisdom and power belonging only to God. And the Redeemer must be a person infinitely dear to God. In order for God to place infinite value upon the Redeemer’s work, the Redeemer himself must be infinitely dear to God, the Beloved One of his heart, the Apple of his eye, the Darling of his affection (John 3:16; Romans 5:8; 1 John 4:9-10).
Our Redeemer must also be a person who has an absolute right to redeem. — He must be one who is free of all personal obligation and responsibility. If he is a servant, or a subject, he has no right to redeem another. He cannot merit anything. A servant has nothing of his own, no price to offer, and no merit before his Master. I rejoice to assert that Christ freely became Jehovah’s Servant to do his will in redeeming God’s elect; but he is not in any way God’s subject. He is God’s equal, for Christ is God! He has the right to redeem!
And the Redeemer had to be a person of infinite love and grace! — No one else would undertake a work so costly for a creature so worthless as man. Behold, how he loved us!
Once more, the one chosen to be our Redeemer must be a person of infinite truth and faithfulness. — He must be immutably true and unalterably faithful. Otherwise, he could not be trusted to carry on his great work of redemption to the horrible, ignominious death of the cross.
God the Father found in his darling Son a fit person to be our Redeemer, and trusted the whole affair of redemption to him (Ephesians 1:12-13). The Triune God trusted our Surety, his darling Son, the Lord Jesus Christ with the honor of his law, the salvation of his elect, and all the glory of his being!
Only Fit Redeemer
This is great wisdom. God found a Redeemer for sinners in the Person of his dear Son! But there is more. — The only fit person to be our Redeemer is the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God. He is not only a fit redeemer, he is the only one who could be a fit redeemer. Not only was there no other way for a holy God to save fallen man, but by the redemption that is in Christ, there is no other person who could be our Redeemer but Christ. The whole work must be on his shoulders alone! No man could make atonement, because all are guilty. No angel could redeem, because all are finite. God the Father could not redeem us, because in the divine economy he is the One whose justice must be satisfied. God the Spirit could not redeem us, because he is the One, by whom the blessings of redemption are conveyed to us pleading the merits of the Redeemer.
Who but God, infinitely wise, could have thought to make Christ our Redeemer? Had God asked the heavenly angels or the sons of Adam, whom he would create, where can a ransom be found? None could ever have found the Redeemer we must have. But, thank God, he found a Ransom! And the Ransom, the Redeemer he found is his own darling Son, the Lord Jesus Christ.
God’s wisdom is revealed in his determination to accomplish redemption by substitution. — Having chosen Christ to be our Redeemer, our infinitely wise God contrived the way in which he would accomplish redemption; and the way he devised, indeed, the only way in which he could accomplish redemption, is substitution. The Son of God was made to be, and voluntarily became the Representative, Surety, and Substitute for God’s elect for the accomplishment of their eternal redemption (Romans 3:24-26; Hebrews 7:22; Genesis 43:8-9).
Before the world began, God’s own dear Son became our Substitute. He stood in our room and stead. And God determined that his Son, Christ Jesus, must have the sins of his people made his own, that he must take our guilt upon himself and make it his own, and that he must suffer the utter extremity of the law’s penalty to the full satisfaction of justice.
Not only did God determine to make Christ our Substitute, he made him our Substitute from eternity, accepted as the Substitute slain for the salvation of his people from eternity, and accepted his sacrifice and accepted us because of his sacrifice as redeemed sinners, saved by grace as one with Christ before the world began (Romans 8:29-30; Ephesians 1:3-6; 2 Timothy 1:9-11).