Isaiah, the prophet while describing Christ’s sufferings and death wrote, “Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise him; he hath put him to grief: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in his hand” (Isaiah 53:10).
The Actual Cause of Christ’s Death: Father’s Will
It was God’s will that Christ should die for us. “Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise him; he hath put him to grief.” Christ laid His life willingly on the cross that He may please the will of His Father concerning our salvation.
Normally, people would think of the hatred of Jews, Romans, Judas, Herod, Pilate, etc as the cause of Christ’s death. All these are responsible for their hatred for Christ and for causing Him pain and death. But why would Jesus give into their plot, when He had the wisdom and power to thwart their wicked plan and avoid the cross?
As Isaiah wrote, Jesus was bruised because it pleased the Lord. Way before His crucifixion, Jesus clearly and passionately spoke about His mission on earth as the fulfillment of His Father’s will. “For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me” (John 6:38). In John 3:16 Jesus said that “…God gave His Son .” Christ’s death was not an accidental event. He knew fully that He must die for the sins of His people because that was His Father’s plan. So Christ said in John 10:17, “Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life, that I might take it again.” Jesus yielded Himself to suffer and die on our behalf because it was His Father’s will concerning Him. It will be all the more clear, if we consider His prayer in the garden of Gethsemane as He struggled with the impending death. There, He prayed in submission, “Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but Thine, be done” (Luke 22:42).
The Apostle Peter’s words to the Jews add further light on the cause of Christ’s death – “Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain” (Acts 2:23). Christ was put to death by the absolute foreknowledge and solemn decree of God the Father, and in this sense “it pleased the Lord to bruise him; he hath put him to grief.”
The Apostle Paul also spoke of Christ’s death as the Father sparing not His Son – “He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all . . .” (Romans 8:32). The Father did not surrounded His Son with His protective arm, when He was taken to be nailed to the cross. “It pleased the Lord to bruise him; he hath put him to grief.” This, my brethren, was the climax of the Saviour’s woe, that his Father turned away from Him, and put Him to grief. So He cried, “Eli, Eli, sabachthani?” that is to say, “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” (Matthew 27:46).
What great love has God the Father manifested toward us in the sacrifice of His only begotten Son!