To Absorb the Wrath of God
Key Texts – Galatians 3:13, Romans 3:25 and 1 John 4:10
Piper strategically starts off the book stating this reason – Jesus came to die to absorb God’s wrath. This is no small thing and is loaded with several important implications. The implications are (1) God is holy and righteous (2) He has been offended (sinned against) (3) God is just and therefore He must judge offenses (4) He is loving, gracious and merciful to send Jesus to absorb His wrath (5) Christ loved the Father and sacrificed His own life as a guilt offering, though He is sinless (6) God’s wrath is satisfied by the death of His Beloved Son.
These 6 implications provide a shell of the gospel, but also much more than that. These 6 implications help us to see something about the three parties involved – God the Father, man, and God the Son – Jesus Christ. Two things we see about God are He is wrathful and He is loving. We see man is a sinner. We see Christ is loving, perfect, and God’s ordained Sacrifice for sin.
It seems reasonable for Piper to begin here because the world’s biggest problem is sin. It is imperative that we know that we are naturally rebellious to God and worthy of His eternal wrath. Yes, God is full of wrath. Piper makes mention that sin is no light thing and it is not light because of whom we sin against – Sovereign God. Sin is great because God is great. One of the terrible tragedies of sin is that it blinds us to the perfections of God and the beauty of Christ. We are all born with sin-stained views of God and of ourselves. The stain of sin hides the true essence of God from us and blinds us to our own sin. Sin is exceedingly sinful.
However, God is also love and in love He sent His Son to rescue rebels from His wrath. God poured out His just wrath against sin on His Son, the Sinless One. This is the meaning of John 3:16 and Romans 5:8. He sent His one and only Son to soak up His wrath for the sins we commit. God pouring out His wrath on Christ exhibits His justice (sin must be dealt with) and His gracious and merciful love (He sent Christ to stand in our place to absorb His wrath) toward those who place their faith in Christ. Those who admit their rebellion (sin) and accept God’s provision of righteousness (Jesus Christ) by faith, their unrighteousness is atoned for in Christ’s death and Christ’s righteousness is imputed or credited to that person. It’s the great exchange! (See 2 Corinthians 5:21)
But we cannot fail to mention one important issue. Behind every act that God does is a reason. That reason is to glorify Himself. In sending Christ, the Father is drawing attention to many of His excellencies – His justice, His holiness, His righteousness, His patience, His love, His mercy, and His grace. Though believers are the beneficiaries of salvation, the chief end of salvation is the glory of God! (See Romans 11:36)
Next Reason: Jesus came to die to please His heavenly Father.
Grace & Peace,