Proverbs 17 1-17-22

We must be willing to view things differently. Jesus wants to expand our perspective.

8 A bribe is like a magic stone in the eyes of the one who gives it; wherever he turns he prospers [it’s not the stone, but the bribe; perspective].

As we begin looking into what type of offering Jesus made on the cross, I have four statements, one by Jesus and three by Peter, that I allow to guide me. They are:

17 “For this reason the Father loves Me, because I lay down My life so that I may take it again. 18 No one has taken it away from Me, but I lay it down on My own initiative. I have authority to lay it down, and I have authority to take it up again. This commandment I received from My Father.” John 10:17-18

23 this Man, delivered over by the predetermined plan and foreknowledge of God, you nailed to a cross by the hands of godless men and put Him to death. Acts 2:23

14 But you disowned the Holy and Righteous One and asked for a murderer to be granted to you, 15 but put to death the Prince of life, the one whom God raised from the dead, a fact to which we are witnesses. Acts 3:14

10 let it be known to all of you and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead—by this name this man stands here before you in good health. Acts 4:10

These passages help shape what I read and put things into perspective. Jesus allowed Himself to be killed. Why? In that death, He took all of man’s malice and aggression toward Him, everything that the venom of sin had cultivated in mankind, and took it on Himself, and then died. The guilt, deceit, and the consequences for every wrong went with Him into the grave. Only God could do that!

With this perspective in mind, we turn again to our Hebrews 10:5-7 passage. David knew that sacrifices and offerings in themselves were not what pleased God–contrary to the gods of his day–but relationship. David then speaks prophetically for Jesus, “I have come to do Your will.” It is at this point that we might make some assumptions based upon what we have been taught for 500 years. Isaiah 53:10 tells us this,

10 But the Lord was pleased
To crush Him, putting Him to grief;
If He would render Himself as a guilt offering,
He will see His offspring,
He will prolong His days,
And the good pleasure of the Lord will prosper in His hand.

From this verse, we might conclude that it was God’s will to lay the punishment of the world on His Son. Somebody had to take the blame, right? The problem is that this conclusion does not reflect what David said in Psalm 40, which is quoted in Hebrews 10. Let’s look at more of the text,

Sacrifice and meal offering You have not desired;
My ears You have opened; [LXX “a body You have prepared for me”]
Burnt offering and sin offering You have not required.
Then I said, “Behold, I come;
In the scroll of the book it is written of me.
I delight to do Your will, O my God;
Your Law is within my heart.”
I have proclaimed glad tidings of righteousness in the great congregation;
Behold, I will not restrain my lips,
O Lord, You know.
10 I have not hidden Your righteousness within my heart;
I have spoken of Your faithfulness and Your salvation;
I have not concealed Your lovingkindness and Your truth from the great congregation.
11 You, O Lord, will not withhold Your compassion from me;
Your lovingkindness and Your truth will continually preserve me.

Jesus did the will of God by:

  1. Proclaiming glad tidings of righteousness in the great congregation;
  2. Not restraining His lips and not hiding God’s righteousness in His heart (keeping it to Himself);
  3. Speaking of God’s faithfulness and salvation;
  4. Not concealing God’s lovingkindness and His truth from the great congregation.

Because of Jesus’ faithfulness, God did not withhold His compassion from Him, and God’s lovingkindness and truth preserved Him. But, wait. I thought that the Lord was pleased to crush Jesus. How do we reconcile these two passages? For that answer, you will have to wait until tomorrow.

Abba, learning about Your Word is such fun! It’s exciting! As I discover things I didn’t know, it makes me wonder what else I don’t know. May I be open to Your Spirit, O Lord. Stretch and grow me according to Your truth. Amen.

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