God's Delight in the Son He Strikes

Five times in Isaiah 53 we are told that God is the one who brings about the suffering and death of Christ.

We esteemed him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted ... (v. 4)

But he was wounded for our transgressions ... (v.5)

The Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all ... (v. 6)

It was the will of the Lord to crush him ... (v. 10)

He has put him to grief ... (v. 10)

In Romans 8:3, Paul says God does what the law can’t do:

By sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, he condemned sin in the flesh.

God’s condemnation on sin fell on Jesus’ flesh, not ours, though the sin was ours.

So the disposition of God toward his Son in the hour of his death was to “strike” and “wound” and “crush” and “grieve” and “condemn.” Nevertheless Paul says that this death was a “fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.”

Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God. (Ephesians 5:2)

So the Son on whom he laid our sins, and whom he struck in our place, was also precious to him at that very moment. The obedience of the Son for the glory of the Father (John 12:28) was fragrant to God.

Not only is this the heart of our unshakable salvation, but it is also a pointer to profound parenting: “The Lord reproves him whom he loves, as a father the son in whom he delights.” (Proverbs 3:12)

John Piper (@JohnPiper) is founder and teacher of desiringGod.org and chancellor of Bethlehem College & Seminary. For 33 years, he served as pastor of Bethlehem Baptist Church, Minneapolis, Minnesota. He is author of more than 50 books.