Was God's wrath or His delight upon Christ on the cross? - Fri Apr 24, 2015 7:25 PM
It seems as though every time I hear a Christian talk about the cross, it is usually said that Jesus Christ suffered God's wrath on the cross. I'm not aware of any verses that ever speak of God being wrathful towards His obedient Son. However, there are a number of verses associated with sacrifice that give God's attitude towards a sacrifice as "acceptable", "fragrant odor", "well pleasing", "delight", etc. "Well pleasing" is obviously quite the opposite of wrath.
In the Old Testament, the smell of the burning sacrifice was said to be a "fragrant odor" rising to God. Eph 5:2 says, "...and gives Himself up for us, an approach present and a sacrifice to God, for a fragrant odor." The smell of roasting meat and fat is a very pleasing and delightful smell especially if you are hungry.
Phil 4:18 "...receiving from Epaphroditus the things from you, an odor fragrant, a sacrifice acceptable, well pleasing to God." The Philippians gifts were a sacrifice and they were well pleasing, acceptable, and a fragrant odor.
In Hebrews 10:5-10 we are told that God did not really delight in the approach presents and sacrifices. God delights in obedience. God delighted in His obedient Son Who said, "Lo! I am arriving--In the summary of the scroll it is written concerning Me--To do Thy will, O God."
I think one of the most astounding things Jesus ever said was "I do always the things that please Him(the Father)"(John 8:29) What pleases a father more than when His child is obedient? The cross was a test of that obedience. The Lord Jesus Christ faced the cross and said not My will, but your will be done.
"...through the obedience of the One, the many shall be constituted just." Rom 5:19
"...He humbles Himself, becoming obedient unto death, even the death of the cross."(Phil 2:8)
The Israelites were supposed to make sure that the animals they sacrificed to God were flawless specimens without blemishes or physical imperfections. The flawless qualities of the Lord Jesus Christ were things like humility, obedience, faithfulness, devotion, and endurance. These were the qualities that were tested and manifested in the context of His trials and sufferings. And these were the qualities that were a delight to His Father.
What was an Israelite saying when he brought his sacrifices before God? I think he was saying something like this: "I know I sinned and blew it. I know you are angry with me. I'm flawed and imperfect and I have disobeyed you. But here is a perfect animal. Take delight in this perfect animal and be at peace with me and let there be reconciliation between us.
"For if, being enemies, we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son..."(Rom 5:10) We have reconciliation with God through the death of His Son, for the flawless qualities of His Son were a delight and a "fragrent odor" but without the resurrection of Jesus Christ do we have salvation from sin and death? "...much rather, being reconciled, we shall be saved in His life."(Rom 5:10) A dead savior, cannot save anyone. "Now if Christ has not been roused, vain is your faith--you are still in your sins!"(1Cor 15:17) We should always be flawed sinners and mortal and dying if Jesus Christ had not been raised to life. Because He now lives, He can one day raise us to flawless righteousness and immortality. "...through a Man, also, comes the resurrection of the dead. For even as, in Adam, all are dying, thus also, in Christ, shall all be made alive." (1Cor 15:21,22)
We should have a high opinion of the worthy qualities of the Lord Jesus Christ. "Worthy is the Lamb slain, to get power and riches and wisdom and strength and honor and glory and blessing!"(Rev 5:12) The Father knows His Son to be worthy "Wherefore, also, God highly exalts Him, and graces Him with the name that is above every name..."(Phil 2:9) He is worthy to receive honor and glory and one day every knee and tongue will honor Him.