Intro: Last Sunday we saw the other side of God as the God of wrath. It is also very clear that those who reject the Son, the wrath of God remains on him. Because we are all sinners by nature, we are the objects of God’s wrath. When God gives one over to do as he wishes and takes away all restraints what will that cost him? No more hope and the certainty of eternal punishment in hell. According to the Word of God, they have no excuse. God has given us the gift of conscience that we are able to determine in our minds what is good and evil. We also learned what Jesus said there will be signs before He returns. I believe those signs are already happening at faster intervals like the birth pains before a baby is born. Here is also what Paul wrote to Timothy what will happen later in time.
“The Spirit clearly says that in later times some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons. Such teachings come through hypocritical liars, whose consciences have been seared as with a hot iron. They forbid people to marry and order them to abstain from certain foods, which God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and who know the truth.”1Tim. 4:1-3
On one hand we have people who are given to sexual perversion by having relationship with the same sex now legal in some states to marry and on the other hand there is a religion that forbids people from marrying. This means that they disqualify themselves from serving God if they marry or are married. Why? Because their consciences have been burned and does not have any sensitivity to discern what is taught in the Bible but instead they follow traditions handed down to them. Who will pay the price and what will be the cost to the ones who reject the truth and do not obey the gospel will pay the price in hell. Today we will look at the other side of God, which is not only good news but the greatest news ever.
“The Cost to God in Loving You”
“See my servant will act wisely, he will be raised and lifted up and highly exalted. Just as there were many who were appalled at him – his appearance was so disfigured beyond that of any man and his form marred beyond human likeness – so will he sprinkle many nations, and kings will shut their mouths because of him. For what they were not told, they will see, and what they have not heard, they will understand.” Isa. 52:13-15
Who is the servant referred to in this passage? It is none other than Jesus Christ. This prophecy was given to God’s prophet Isaiah about 700 years before Jesus will be born. Notice the reference to Jesus as a servant of God. How can that be when Jesus is God the Son equal with God in their attributes? Scriptures tells us that although God is one, their being one does not mean that it is only one person. On the sixth day of creation,
“Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, in our likeness…” Gen. 1:27
Who is the “us” referring to? Let’s review this basic truth.
“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” Gen. 1:1
Who was this God being referred to? No distinction yet. But on the second verse, who is revealed?
“Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.” Gen. 1:2
We see the Spirit of God revealed. In the next verse there is a conversation.
“And God said, Let there be light,” and there was light.” Gen. 1:3
Who did God say and commanded to be the light?
When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” John 8:12
In the first three verses of the Bible we see God as a Trinity. Three persons identified by their own specific names and functions.
“Baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.” Matt. 28:19b
Notice that it does not say “names,” otherwise it will refer to one person, but three different distinct persons having different names of themselves.
Why is this very important for us to understand and believe? Because only then will we appreciate and be forever thankful how much God loves those who are saved by His grace and the cost to God in order to love us. So when God said my servant will act wisely, He was referring to the incarnate Christ. God the Son becoming a man as a servant of God and revealed to us in the New Testament.
“Christ Jesus, who being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness.” Phil. 2:6-7
Jesus Christ left His glory in heaven and came down to earth and lived in a human body. According to this passage we cannot grasp what happened to His being God and equality with God something for us to fully understand but only to believe. He was God natured unlike us humans who have the sinful nature. He made himself nothing, not as someone who is worthless but he divested himself of all his power as God then took the nature of a servant.
Let us first consider the cost to God the Father. He gave up the fellowship of God the Son as equal. His relationship with Jesus was now that of God and man. Then God the Father would later make Jesus suffer for the sins of sinners and those who have broken the law.
“Surely he took up our infirmities and carried our sorrows, yet we considered him stricken by God, smitten by him, and afflicted. But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed. We all like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all.” Isa. 53:4-6
Those who wanted him crucified believed that he deserved to be punished by God for the sin of blasphemy. This happened earlier accusing him of,
Again the Jews picked up stones to stone him, but Jesus said to them, “I have shown you many great miracles from the Father. For which of these are you stoning me?” “We are stoning you for any of these,” replied the Jews, “but for blasphemy, because you a mere man, claim to be God.” John 10:31-33.
Had they known that Jesus was the fulfillment of what God promised as their Messiah and Savior, they would not have done what they did. In fact this Savior was revealed right after the fall of man when they disobeyed God in the garden and were lost to the devil. God cursed the serpent representing Satan and that He would send another Adam to crush his head and save His people from their sins.
“And I will put enmity between you and the woman, between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head and you will strike his heal.” Gen. 3:15
God fulfilled this promise when God the Son became the offspring of a woman. This was the way God would conquer the power of the devil.
“Since the children have flesh and blood, he too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might destroy him who holds the power of death – that is the devil – and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death.” Heb. 2:14-15
And God did it out of His love for those He would give to His Son to save.
“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16
“How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!” 1 John 3:1
God the Father did not only sacrifice the fellowship of equals but also did what was decided beforehand in saving sinners, gave him up to the cross.
“Yet it was the Lord’s will to crush him and cause him to suffer, and though the Lord makes his life a guilt offering, he will see his offspring and prolong his days, and the will of the Lord will prosper in his hand.” Isa. 53:10
It blows my mind to understand what manner of love is this that a father would make his only son suffer the punishment that his enemies deserve. For about three hours God the Father turned His back and abandoned the fellowship of His Son and poured out His wrath for your sins and mine and laid it on His innocent and sinless Son so that He can love us, His enemies and be justified to forgive our sins because payment for sin has been paid.
“God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” 2 Cor. 5:21
Now let us see the cost of loving us by the Son of God. In the council of the Triune God and in their foreknowledge being ‘Omniscient” God the Son was chosen to be sacrificed and be punished for sins he did not commit. This was decided before the creation of the world because they knew that the man they would create will sin and join the devil on his way to hell. So they made provision to rescue and save them from the devils hold. The price God would pay in order to buy us back from the power of the devil is very high. It is life for life. Here’s how God revealed it through Peter,
“For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your forefathers, but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect. He was chosen before the creation of the world, but was revealed in these last time for your sakes. Through him you believe in God, who raised him from the dead and glorified him, and so your faith and hope are in God.” 1 Pet. 1:18-21
Some two thousand years ago, God fulfilled that promise when God the Son left His throne and glory in heaven and came down to earth in the flesh. God the Son the creator of the world became like one of His created.
“Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made.” John 1:3
The only difference was that He was born of a virgin conceived by the Holy Spirit and did not inherit the sinful nature of man. He was sinless from birth and did not sin at all throughout his life. This is the cost to God the Son.
“He grew up before him like a tender shoot, and like a root out of dry ground. He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him, nothing in his appearance that we should desire him. He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering. Like one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not.” Isa. 53:2-3
Just think for a moment, the God who created everything in its beauty and splendor gave up all the beauty that He is. He was not a ladies man and as they say, he had the face that only a mother could love. He was the butt of jokes because he was despised among all men. Probably in today’s generation he would not be welcomed in any group or club. When he comes around people they would hide from him. Why? Because he was not like them, He was different. This was how John describes him.
“The light shines in the darkness but the darkness has not understood it…He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him. He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him.” John 1:5, 10-11
He was different because He was holy. Perfect not in beauty but in his character. He was avoided because he was not like them and here’s why.
“This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil.” John 3:19
That is why God the Father has to draw us to Him otherwise on our own we will not seek Him. Are you experiencing now that after you became a Christian you are losing friends and some are even avoiding you? Because when Jesus came into your life, the light entered in you. You are now the light of the world and those who are in the dark and loved their life of sin will hide and avoid you. You also will be despised and persecuted.
This is the final cost to Jesus for the love of God to reach us, sinners.
“But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed.” Isa. 53:5
Who pierced his hands and feet and his heart? Who crushed his body and punished for sins he did not commit. Who slashed his back with whips that pierced through his flesh? Isn’t it our sins. Every sin that we have committed in the past and even now is a slash on his back and piercing on his body. During Holy Week, there are some people in the Philippines who slash their backs believing that it will pay for their sins. In India they pierce their bodies and inflict themselves to atone for their sins and guilt. What about here in America, it has become fashionable to pierce their faces and unknowingly mutilate their flesh for beauty sake. Women pierce their ears to adorn themselves with earrings as was the practiced by women in the Bible.
Have we come to fully realize and understand that it was our sins that caused Jesus to suffer and be punished for sins He did not commit? If we did not sin, Jesus would not have to die. It was because we sinned that cost the life of Jesus to suffer the worse of punishment, that of a criminal and not just to pay for one’s sin but for the sins of everyone His Father will give him to die for. You multiply the sins we all have committed in this room and not only ours but for the sins of every one of those He will pay for in the world. That was the punishment He was willing to suffer for, the cost he bore out of His love for you and me.
“For he bore the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.” Isa. 53:12c.
Here’s the good news that saved us and whoever believes in Him.
“Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures.” 1 Cor. 15:3-4
“And after the suffering of his soul, he will see the light of life and be satisfied; by his knowledge my righteous servant will justify many, and he will bear their iniquities.” Isa. 53:11
Where is Christ Jesus, God the Son today? He is back on His throne in glory, high and lifted up and worthy of our worship and our all.
“Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” Phil. 2:9-11
What is it costing you to love the Lord. He gave His all, what will you give?