This devotional comes from “Solid Joys,” the Android and iOS app from Desiring God that features daily devotions by John Piper.
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He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things? (Romans 8:32)
One of my friends who used to be a pastor in Illinois was preaching to a group of prisoners in a state prison during Holy Week several years ago.
At one point in his message, he paused and asked the men if they knew who killed Jesus. Some said the soldiers did. Some said the Jews did. Some said Pilate. After there was silence, my friend said simply, “His Father killed him.”
That’s what the first half of Romans 8:32 says: God did not spare his own Son but handed him over — to death. “This Jesus [was] delivered up according to the definite plan and foreknowledge of God” (Acts 2:23). Isaiah 53 puts it even more bluntly, “We esteemed him stricken, smitten by God. . . . It was the will of the Lord to crush him; he (his Father!) has put him to grief” (Isaiah 53:4, 10).
Or has Romans 3:25 says, “God put [him] forward as a propitiation by his blood.” Just as Abraham lifted the knife over the chest of his son Isaac, but then spared his son because there was a ram in the thicket, so God the Father lifted the knife over the chest of his own Son, Jesus — but did not spare him, because he was the ram; he was the substitute. God did not spare his own Son, because it was the only way he could spare us.
The guilt of our transgressions, the punishment of our iniquities, the curse of our sin would have brought us inescapably to the destruction of hell. But God did not spare his own Son; he gave him up to be pierced for our transgressions, and crushed for our iniquities, and crucified for our sin.
This verse is the most precious verse in the Bible to me because the foundation of the all-encompassing promise of God’s future grace is that the Son of God bore in his body all my punishment and all my guilt and all my condemnation and all my blame and all my fault and all my corruption, so that I might stand before a great and holy God, forgiven, reconciled, justified, accepted, and the beneficiary of unspeakable promises of pleasure forever and ever at his right hand.
Future Grace, pages 110 – 111
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I think this is something that is very important yet most of us forget about this. Who killed Jesus? Lord Himself did! But there is a very human-illogical yet God-logicak reason for this death: God wants to spare us. He did this because His love for us.
One question arose when I read this. Was Jesus aware of this when He faced His death? I am sure He was. Jesus must have known about His death in His incarnation as He also planned this salvation. He realized very clearly that His Father had to do this and He had to be the one to be the sacrifice.
Was it easy for Jesus to face His death? It was hard (“He set His face to Jerusalem” – Love to the Uttermost. It was not that our Lord feared death, but Jesus also found that He had to deny Himself to do Lord’s will. He could have not chosen His death, but He chose to obey Father’s will because of His love for us.
May this devotional prepares us for the Good Friday and Easter. Lord Jesus blesses you!