The book on sale this week, The Pleasures of God, has a chapter entitled “The Pleasure of God in Bruising His Son.” It is based on Isaiah 53:10, “The LORD was pleased to bruise him, he has put him to grief.” The chapter ends with this parable:
Once there was a land ruled by a wicked prince. He had come from a foreign country and enslaved all the people of the land and made them miserable with hard labor in his coal mines across the deep canyon. He had built a massive trestle for the trains that carried his slaves across the canyon to the mines each morning, and it was heavily guarded.
Two men were still free in this kingdom -- one old and the other young. They lived on an inaccessible cliff overlooking the trestle. They hated the trestle. At last they resolved together to blow it up and destroy the slave labor of the enemy prince. They planned and they prayed and they reminded themselves of the reality of heaven.
The night came when the deed would be done. Their hearts were pounding with joy. It was a hard plan. It would be possible to time the trek of the trestle guard so that the explosive could be carried quickly to the vulnerable spot on the trestle. But there would be no time for the carrier of the explosives to return. It was certain that the he would be seen and the plan foiled if he tried to return. To make sure the trestle blew up the two men agreed that the young man would detonate it by hand on the trestle. He would blow up with it.
But they believed in heaven, and they loved the people of the land. And so the honor of this sacrifice made their hearts leap with joy. The hour came. They folded up the map of their strategy, stood from the table and embraced each other. When the young man got to the door, he turned with the explosive strapped to his back, looked at the old man, and said, "I love you, Father." And the old man took a deep breath—with joy—and said, "I love you too, Son."