The Most Spectacular Sin Ever Committed
- Thursday, March 04, 2010
God Brought It to Pass
For example, Isaiah 53:6, 10 says, "All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned—every one—to his own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all. . . . It was the will of the Lord to crush him; he has put him to grief." The Lord crushed him. God was at work in all the circumstances that brought Jesus to the cross. Behind the spitting and flogging and mocking and piercing is the invisible hand and plan of God.
And I say that carefully and with trembling. This truth is too big and too weighty and too shocking to be glib about or to be cocky about. I choose to say that the invisible hand and plan of God are behind these most spectacular sins in all the universe—more grievous and more spectacular than the Fall of Satan or any other sins. The reason I use these very words is because the Bible says it in these very words.
The Hand and Plan of God
It is a strange way of speaking—to say that God's hand and plan have predestined something to happen. One does not ordinarily think of God's "hand" predestining. How does a hand predestine? Here's what I think it means: The hand of God ordinarily stands for God's exerted power—not power in the abstract, but earthly, effective exertions of power. The point of combining it with "plan" is to say that it is not just a theoretical plan; it is a plan that will be executed by God's own hand.
This explains Isaiah 53:10: "It was the will of the Lord to bruise him; he has put him to grief." Or more literally, with the King James Version, "It pleased the Lord to bruise him; he hath put him to grief." The Lord bruised him. Behind Herod and Pilate and the Gentiles and the people of Israel was Jesus' own Father who loved him with an infinite love.
The Gospel: God at Work in Death
Romans 8:3: "Sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, he condemned sin in the flesh." God condemned sin in Jesus' flesh with our condemnation. So we are free.
Galatians 3:13: "Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us." God cursed Jesus with the curse that belonged on us. So we are free.
2 Corinthians 5:21: "For our sake he [God] made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God." God imputed our sin to him, and now we go free in God's righteousness.
Isaiah 53:5: "He was wounded for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities." God wounded him. God crushed him. For you and me. And we go free.
The Cross of Christ as the Work and Love of God
If you embrace the biblical truth (and I pray you will) that God ordains spectacular sins for the global glory of his Son, without God in any way becoming unholy or unrighteous or sinful in that act, then you will not shrink back from the cross of Christ as a work of God. You will not be among the number of those who call the most loving act that ever was "divine child abuse." You will come to the cross and fall on your face. And you will say: This is no mere human conspiracy. This is the work of God and the love of God. You will receive it as his highest gift. And you will be saved. And Christ will be glorified. And I will not have written in vain.
Used with permission. Adapted from the audio recording and the booklet History's Most Spectacular Sin originally published as "Judas Iscariot, the Suicide of Satan, and the Salvation of the World," in Spectacular Sins, copyright © 2008 by Desiring God Foundation.
Permissions: You are permitted and encouraged to reproduce and distribute this material in any format provided that you do not alter the wording in any way and do not charge a fee beyond the cost of reproduction. For web posting, a link to this document on our website is preferred. Any exceptions to the above must be approved by Desiring God.Please include the following statement on any distributed copy: By John Piper. © Desiring God. Website: desiringgod.org
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