Tuesday, October 14, 2008

He Took What Justice Demanded From Us

“The Cross was at once the most horrible and the most beautiful example of God’s wrath. It was the most just and the most gracious act in history. God would have been more than unjust, He would have been diabolical to punish Jesus if Jesus had not first willingly taken on Himself the sins of the world. Once Christ had done that, once He volunteered to be the Lamb of God, laden with our sin, then He became the most grotesque and vile thing on this planet. With the concentrated load of sin He carried, He became utterly repugnant to the Father. God poured out His wrath on this obscene thing. God made Christ accursed for the sin He bore. Herein was God’s holy justice perfectly manifest. Yet it was done for us. He took what justice demanded from us."

- RC Sproul, The Holiness of God


(HT: OFI)

5 comments:

Christopher Lake said...

Zach,

I'm a big "fan" of R.C. Sproul-- or maybe I should just say, a worshipper of the God who led R.C. to write The Holiness of God! :-) I'm perplexed by something in this excerpt though. Maybe you can explain it to me.

R.C. writes, "God would have been more than unjust, He would have been diabolical to punish Jesus if Jesus had not first willingly taken on the sins of the world." Didn't Jesus take on the sins of His people (not trying to make a point about particular redemption here, just so you know!) *in submission to* the Father's will, which had been pre-ordained from eternity past? How is that Jesus willingly chose to take on the sins of His people *before* the Father decided to lay the punishment for those sins on Jesus, given that the Father had always planned to do so? Am I misunderstanding what Sproul is
saying here?

Vitamin Z said...

I think it has something to do with the eternal decrees of God before the foundation of the world. Theologians have debated the specifics of this for centuries. That is about all I know. I think that is what he is getting at.

z

Christopher Lake said...

Thanks, Zach. Perplexity leads to worship-- praise be to God! :-)

Bart said...

Chris, I think your question will be cleared up if you carefully re-read the quote.

Sproul says Jesus' willingness preceded God's actual punishment of him. He wisely says nothing about when or how the decision occurred.

Bart

Christopher Lake said...

Right you are, Bart! Thanks, brother! :-)