Brighton Church of Christ
God Gave Up His Son
The New Testament reveals that God delivered up His Son for man. Several Scriptures state the fact. The most precious of them perhaps is Romans 8:32. In that passage, the Apostle Paul said, “He [God] who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?”
This is a rhetorical question that states three things.
Paul first says that God “did not spare His own Son”. In other words, God did not keep His Son from suffering and death. This is a reference to the traumatic event of the hanging of Jesus on the cross two millennia ago. Nails were driven in His hands and feet by wicked men on that occasion, and He was left hanging on the cross until He could no longer exhale. He was in excruciating pain and agony. Eventually, Jesus Christ died. He was God’s only begotten Son (John 3:16; Luke 1:35).
Paul also says that God “delivered Him [His Son] up for us all”. He meant that the crucifixion of Jesus was in harmony with God’s will (Acts 2:23). God gave His Son into the hands of men to that cruel death. He did that to save the human race, not because He was powerless. Jesus made clear to His enemies that His Father was able to deliver Him from them. He said, “Or do you think that I cannot now pray to My Father, and He will provide Me with more than twelve legions of angels?” (Matthew 26:53).
Speaking of God’s purpose, the apostle said, “For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren. Moreover whom He predestined, these He also called; whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified.”
The penalty for sin being death, in conformity with a law in the moral universe, man was to die (Romans 6:23). However, God substituted His Son for man through His matchless mercy and boundless love.
The proudest of people may be humbled by God’s love for them. They may be sensitive to God’s Son dying for them.
Paul finally says that God “freely give us all things”.
Christians may derive comfort from the sacrifice of the Son of God when it comes to the necessities of life. If God has given the greatest gift, as Paul says the giving of His Son was, we can be confident that He will give us all things we need. He who has given the greater will not withhold the less.
The environment in which we live, that is the earth, is such that we have material needs while we live on it. These needs, the Bible assures us, are known to God. Furthermore, God has promised to take care of them. This is the subject of the 6th chapter in the gospel of Matthew. In that passage, the writer said, “Therefore do not worry, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?' For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.” (Matthew 6:31-33, cf. 5:45).
However, there are blessings that Christians receive through the death of Christ which are inaccessible to other people so long as these remain in the world (Ephesians 2:12). Among those blessings are justification, which consists in being made right with God (Romans 8:30).
Man is made right with God by the gospel. Justification occurs when one comes under the influence of the gospel and exerts faith in Christ through the power of the gospel. It is not based on one’s merit; it comes from God's grace (Ephesians 2:8-9).
Through the death of Christ, one also experiences reconciliation with God (Ephesians 2:16).
But many among the people present at Golgotha the day Jesus was crucified failed to see that it was for their own good He suffered. While He agonized, some even jeered saying, “You who destroy the temple and build it in three days, save Yourself! If You are the Son of God, come down from the cross.” The religious leaders, including chief priests, scribes and elders, joined in the blasphemous chorus (Matthew 27:40-42). What they should have done was to weep.