“It pleased the Lord to bruise Him.”
Contrary to popular, heretical opinion, the Son of God did not die as the helpless victim of circumstances because the Jews would not let Him be their king! His death was not a secondary plan God had on reserve and adopted because the Jews rejected Him. Their rejection of Him was part of the plan! That is what Romans chapter eleven is all about.
The Lord Jesus Christ died by the hand of God, according to the will of God, to satisfy the justice of God, for the elect of God, to the glory of God. Though He “knew no sin,” the Lord God was pleased to bruise Him in the place of sinners for sin. We recognize that our Redeemer was crucified by the hands of wicked men; but He was delivered to their hands by the will of God (Acts 2:23); and those wicked men did nothing but that which God Himself had purposed and “determined before to be done” (Acts 4:27-28).
The death of Christ was no accident, or after thought! The death of Christ was in the mind and heart of God from everlasting (Revelation 13:8). The eye of faith looks beyond the malice of the Jews, the weakness of Pilate, and the Roman cross, and traces the death of our Lord Jesus Christ back to its original source, to the heart of God himself (Romans 5:8; 1 John 4:9-10).
The Lord Jesus Christ died according to the purpose, decree, and will of God our Father (1 Peter 1:18-21; Acts 13:28-29). We do not, we dare not impute to God the sin and guilt of the crime. Wicked men did exactly what they wanted to do. God did not force them to act as they did. Yet He did absolutely govern and control their actions and used them to accomplish His own purpose of grace toward His elect. Not a single action, circumstance, or pain involved in the Savior’s death came to pass except by the decree of God.
This is a foundation truth of Holy Scripture. See that you hold it firmly: God Almighty has written a book of sovereign and absolute predestination (Revelation 5:1).
“Chained to His throne a volume lies with all the fates of men,
With every angel’s form and size drawn by the eternal pen.”
Nothing escapes the will, purpose, decree, and power of God. Everything that comes to pass in time was ordained by God in eternity. You may be sure that God Almighty, Who feeds the sparrows, clothes the lilies, and numbers the hairs of our heads, left nothing to chance or circumstance regarding the life and death of His dear Son.
The death of Christ is the very core of predestination. It is the center and mainspring upon which God fashioned all His other purposes. It is the foundation upon which the structure of God’s decrees was built. Jesus Christ is “the Lamb slain before the foundation of the world” because “it pleased the LORD to bruise him.”
Long before there was a sinner, God provided a Savior. Before the sheep went astray, God made his Son our Shepherd. Before we fell in the first Adam, we stood in the last Adam. Before ever we broke God’s law, Christ was our ransom. Before we became polluted, Christ was our cleansing Fountain. Long before we incurred the debt of sin, Christ stood as our Surety to pay our debt. Before we were cursed by the law, Christ was our Redeemer. Before ever we died, Christ was our Resurrection and our Life!
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