Beholding the Father’s love, even for me

At the centre of the Bible, is the person of the Lord Jesus Christ. In fact, if you were to remove Jesus Christ from Christendom (the Christian faith), the entire movement and relationship collapse with ease. He is the alpha and the omega; the anointed one; the great and high priest; the author and perfecter of faith; the bread of heaven; the bright morning star; the chief Shepherd; the King of kings and Lord of lords; the Lamb of God; the Loin of the tribe of Judah; the prince of peace and the wonderful counsellor; the rock of ages; the way, truth and life; and he is the word of life. That is our savoir and reigning King. As we reflect on Christ and what he has accomplished for us, one vivid passage of Scripture is without escape, and it is Isaiah 52:13 to 53:12. This is a song of praise regarding the suffering servant of the Lord, Jesus Christ. This is indeed one of the most famous passages in Isaiah, and one of the famous messianic prophecies in the Bible. And here lies the joy, the suffering servant triumphs and filled with joy unending not because he defeated his enemies in an open contest for personal benefit but because he gave his life for others. Oh what a Savoir!!!

But before you get too excited, I would love to divert your attention and entire thought on this passage for a moment. It would not be wrong and strange for one that when they read the above passage, they only stop at Jesus and his suffering. And rightly so, for he is the main character on display! But have you ever thought and reflected this passage at the Father’s, God the father’s perspective. In this piece of writing I would love to reflect on just that, to see behind the curtain the plan of the Father, beholding His love even for me.

The context here is very helpful. The nation of Israel rejected God and the kingdom was divided. One part of the kingdom because of their sin, already went into captivity during this time, their sin led them to their destruction. Now Isaiah talks to the remaining part of the kingdom warning and exhorting them to remain faithful to God, and like others they are not listening. As no prophecy came by no man’s interpretation (2 Peter 1:20-21), these were not only Isaiah’s words but God’s very word of warning and exhortation. Note the Father’s compassion behind the scene. Despite their rejection of him and serving of idols, observe how the Father continues to feel compassion for his people. However this divine love does more than merely feeling of pain as man destroys himself in sin. But He intervenes on their behalf. About 800 years later, the suffering servant was indeed oppressed, afflicted, and rejected, and all this was the will of the Father to crush him. In the midst of sin and rejection of God, the Father is demonstrating his love and compassion by promising his rebellious people reconciliation and new life.

How about the scene at the cross of Calvary! Have you ever imagine how God the Father had to restrain all of heaven to let the Son be and be scourged and beaten? The entire angelic host doubtlessly wanting to intervene, shouting and thinking, ‘that is our reigning Lord’, ‘that is the King of kings and the Lord of heaven’! While you and I, are among those mocking and beating him. Imagine the multitudes of angels just ready at Christ’s command, but even to think of it, at the Father’s command, to eternally purge the evil before His sight. But in the background is the Father’s voice, ‘I have purposed this from the beginning’. ‘I have planned all this’. As the Son in total agony cries, ‘my God, my God, why have you forsaken me?’ the Father says, ‘I have purposed and planned all this’. And for what cost; what profit would the Father gain in this? Oh the intended outcome, the effect, the result, was it not you and I to be reconciled to Him through faith in His suffering servant, Jesus Christ? Oh yes it was, and all this the Father planned.

Salvation is not something that only happens in the moment of time, but it begun in eternity past, before the foundation of the world. First Peter 1:2 begins, “According to the foreknowledge of God the Father”. This is primarily referring to the elect believers who are in exile due to persecution, but secondly this applies to every believer also. And Peter as he begins his letter, he is going to show them how their salvation is Trinitarian (involving all three persons of the Godhead – Father, Son, and Holy Spirit). Our interest in this process of salvation is with the Father, and it says, He foreknew us. He did not merely know ahead of time or had a general awareness of what is going to happen to us in time, but the Father “choosing to enter into a relationship with the believers beforehand”[1]. Our salvation is not something that is new in God’s mind and heart the moment you believed, but God brought our salvation relationship into existence by ordering it into existence ahead of time. Thus, the Father “planned before, not that He observed before”[2]. So the Father’s love for us was not just demonstrated while we were sinners. But it was first and foremost demonstrated in eternity past. Oh dear Christian what love is this that He should even choose me and love me. This is grace, this is wonderful grace! Now this is not meant to make one be in search of a list that God made containing all the names of all whom He foreknew. But this is meant to make us rejoice and be assured of God’s eternal love for us. To those who are not Christians, this is meant to make you rejoice when you hear the gospel and accepting it, for those whom the Father foreknew will joyfully not be passed by this precious Good News.

Application

  • Our heavenly Father really cares about you. The Father really cares about you and wants you to have a relationship with him. Christianity is not just a relationship with Jesus; however, it is a relationship with the Father, Son and Holy Spirit (1 John 1:3). So the Father really does care about you, no wonder before the world was He planned. Are you anxious and so worried that you would not make it tomorrow, and wondering whether God really cares about you? Is the economic crisis heavy to barrier? Oh know that the Father does care. If He takes care of the birds of the air, which do not have barns and banks to store their food for tomorrow, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them daily! Are you not of more value than them (Matthew 6:25-34). “He who did not spare the Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things [our needs]?” (Romans 8:32, ESV). Oh He does care! Live rightly before your God, and this is only possible if you are born again. But secondly, work and search (do not tolerate laziness), be creative, be content and live within your means. And never stop seeking God (Matthew 6:33).
  • God has already demonstrated his love for you. Some are still looking for signs today! They protest saying, ‘I will only believe if God comes down right now and reveals himself to me’! But God has already done that dear reader. About 2000 years ago He has personally revealed Himself through Jesus Christ. While people were in sin, and consequently you too, the Father demonstrated His love to you in that while you are still a sinner, Christ actually died for you (Romans 5:8).
  • We worship the Father and are obedient to the Father as we are subject and obedient to Christ. The idea of the heavenly Father is so common, and the assumption is that, everyone is living rightly with Him and knows him. Listen, you can only know the Father through Jesus Christ. Jesus said, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.  If you had known me, you would have known my Father also” (John 14:6-7, ESV). Jesus gives eternal life, and the aim of this life is to know the Father personally. “And this is eternal life, that they know you the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent” (John 17:3, ESV). So the suffering servant actually is our key and only medium to live rightly again with the Father and to know Him. Amazing!!! God’s love for us should motivate us hear, love and accept the gospel, so that we worship God with all our mind, heart, and strength as long as it is called today.

[1] Sproul, R. C (Ed). (2015). The Reformation Study Bible. Orlando, FL: Reformation Trust. P. 2242.

[2] MacAuthor, J. (1997). The MacAuthor study Bible. Nashville, TN: Word Publishing. P. 1939.

3 thoughts on “Beholding the Father’s love, even for me

  1. Thank God for your lives brethrens , i pray that He may enlighten you, strengthen and equip you more. This blog has helped me so profoundly! I thank God indeed.

    Like

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