Glorious Truths of the Father's Wrath
Can you imagine the pain of the cross? A cross where Christ’s blood was spilled, where His hands bore nails, and where a spear pierced His side. The terror that was felt by Jesus when he uttered the words “Why have you forsaken me?” It boggles my mind to know the “cross” is the centerpiece to all of human history. At the center of this event, we see the Father forsaking His Son, which begs the question, “Why do we need this type of Father?”
Imagine, for a second, how children bring out the best and worst in their parents. My parents could shout numerous ways I have brought out their best and definitely their worst qualities if given the opportunity. Parents can often see their flaws amplified in their children. However, this is not true of God the Father and God the Son. The Father has never looked upon the Son with anger or disappointment. He has never seen His own sins magnified in His Son. The Father never had to correct Jesus for His disobedience; instead, the Father pours out His wrath upon a perfectly obedient Son. The Father never had to punish Christ for talking back, yet allowed Him to taste the wicked slander of men. The list below shows Christians the need for a Wrathful Father.
Christ took on God’s wrath as a sacrifice for the sins of man. In order for sinful men to experience God’s mercy a perfect sacrifice needed to be offered before a Holy God. The blood of bulls and goats would not suffice. The shed blood of any normal man would not suffice. Christ’s blood was the only sufficient sacrifice to be offered for the sons of Adam. The righteous for the unrighteous, the holy one of Israel for Israel, the perfect King for his imperfect people.
Christ took on God’s wrath because death had to be defeated. It would not be enough for Christ only to experience a hatred from human beings, Jesus had to experience wrath from the Father. Sin demands death. In order for Christ to conquer death once and for all, he had to be crushed by the Father. It is right to remind yourself that Jesus “sought me and bought me through his redeeming blood,” because his death purchased you from the bondage of death and hell. Though I love the Hymn “How Deep a Father’s Love Us,” it does not fully display God’s wrath toward Jesus. For example, the hymn would have you believe that the Father turns His face away as the Son experiences His wrath. The Father never turns his face away; rather as Christ is dying on the cross, God is still pouring out his wrath until Christ’s final breath. God never turns His face away, because He knew what Christ was purchasing with His sacrifice.
Christ took on God’s wrath in order to call us brothers, sisters, and ultimately heirs to a heavenly kingdom. Christ needed to experience the full weight of the Father’s wrath in order that God could fully adopt for himself a people from every tribe, tongue, and nation. The wrath of the Father upon the Son accomplished the adoption of all who would call on the name of Christ. Whether you are an adulterer, murderer, slanderer, orphan, widowed, rich, poor, white, or black, God has elected his people from before the foundation of the world to be holy and blameless. He has bestowed upon those who are elect names of son and daughter. In order to show his elected sons and daughters mercy, he first had to show Christ wrath.
If we never saw the Father’s wrath upon the Son, then we would never get to experience the Father’s mercy.
Jordan is a Pastoral Resident at Morningview Baptist Church in Montgomery, Alabama. He has his M. Div in Pastoral Studies from The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.