GRACE FOR TODAY Radio Message #539
Pastor Don Fortner
Grace Baptist Church of Danville
2734 Old Stanford Road
Danville, Kentucky 40422-9438
In these two verses of Inspiration the Holy Spirit shows us that the Lord our God is the God who can be trusted. Here is a glaring contrast between the God of the Bible and the gods of men. The gods of religion want to do things, desire to do things, and try to do things, but are unable to accomplish them because of the works of the devil and the wills of men. The God of the Bible, the only true God, our God and heavenly Father never wants what to do, desires to do, or tries to do anything except what he does. He is a God in whom we can be confident, a God who can be trusted implicitly, because he always has he way and does as he will.
In these first two verses of ark 14, we have a very clear example of God’s total sovereignty and omnipotent power to accomplish his will. He who truly is God over all and blessed forever always has his way. Here we see our great God disappointing the plans and designs of wicked men, overruling their wills and decisions to accomplish his own eternal purpose of grace in predestination. Our Lord’s enemies did not want his death to be a public spectacle. Repeatedly, they tried to stone him to death, throw him off a cliff, or in some other way murder him without the common people being aware of what they had done. Notice the words of our text - “The chief priests and the scribes sought how they might take him by craft, and put him to death.” But that was not what God had purposed. Therefore, in his wise and adorable providence, he simply overruled their schemes. God defeated their counsel and performed his own.
It was the purpose of God from eternity that the Lord Jesus Christ must be lifted up upon the cursed tree and crucified as a cursed man as our Substitute. There was no way possible for God to be both just and the Justifier of chosen sinners except by his own dear Son dying in our room and stead as our substitute. His justice must be satisfied. Else, he could not forgive sin. Christ alone, the God-man Mediator, could satisfy the justice of God for us.
Yet, in order to fulfil the Scriptures, our Savior must die “according to the Scriptures.” You will recall that our Savior often said, with reference to his sin-atoning death at Calvary, “The Scriptures must be fulfilled” (v. 49). In other words, the Lord Jesus must be betrayed by his own familiar friend for thirty pieces of silver, crucified by the hands of Gentiles at the insistence of the Jews, without a single bone in his body being broken, yet having his heart pierced. He must be numbered with transgressors in his death, mocked, beaten, spit upon, and stripped in public humiliation. And the soldiers who crucified him must cast lots to see which one would get his garment. All these things were prophesied in the Old Testament Scriptures. But “the chief priests and scribes sought how they might take him by craft and put him to death.” That presented no problem to God Almighty! His counsel stood firm. His purpose was fulfilled. God’s will always prevails. His purpose was accomplished by these very men (Acts 2:23). Christ was crucified at Calvary exactly as God had purposed from eternity.