To Please His Heavenly Father
Key Texts – Isaiah 53:10, Ephesians 5:2
The second reason Piper mentions why Jesus came to die was to please His heavenly Father. Some might ask how can the death of the Beloved Son in whom the Father was well pleased (Matt. 3:16-17) be pleasing to the Father? Shouldn’t the Father take delight in Christ’s obedience to His will like parents delight when their children obey their loving statutes? This should raise the question – Was it the Father’s will for His Son to die? Did the Father sovereignly purpose the death of His Son? The answer is a resounding yes! One of the key texts tells us:
(Isaiah 53:10a, ESV)
But why did the Father purpose to crush His only Son and take delight in His death? I would argue that it wasn’t merely the death of Christ that pleased the Father, but rather it’s what His death accomplished. Some of those accomplishments are: the satisfaction of God’s wrath for our sin, forgiveness of sin, reconciliation to God, worship of God, the witness of the church, the proclamation of the gospel, missions, restored relationships, repentance of sin, peacemaking, etc. As great as all of that is, the main reason why the Father was pleased with the death of His Son was because it was a means of displaying God’s glory to the seen and unseen realms.
Jesus’ death was the means by which the love, grace, mercy, forgiveness, justice, righteousness, sovereignty and holiness of God could be seen in a very unique way at the same time – at the cross. Ponder that. Though believers are the beneficiaries of God’s grace, the ultimate reason for the Father crushing the Son was to bring glory to Himself, but He is no egoist! Jesus willfully and obediently offered His life as a substitutionary sacrifice to save sinners for the glory of God. Jesus delighted in bringing glory to the Father.
Jesus said to them, “My food is to do the will of him who sent me and to accomplish his work.
And this is why it pleased the Father to crush His Son.
It is only through that lens that we can understand how Christ’s life was a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God. (Ephesians 5:2b cf Exodus 30:1-10).
For a further treatment on Jesus’ death being pleasing to God, read The Pleasure of God in Bruising the Son in The Pleasures of God, also by John Piper.
Next Reason: Jesus came to die to learn obedience and be perfected.
Grace & Peace,