Tuesday, September 1, 2009

"Putting Caleb to Grief"

"Yet it was the will of the Lord to crush him;
he has put him to grief." -Isaiah 53:10a

So just a few minutes ago as my son Caleb was worn out on his play mat, I thought it would be an opportune time to trim his fast-growing fingernails. Stephanie gave me the clippers and I carefully tried to cut his right pinkie finger first. SCREAM!!! I accidentally clipped the end of his finger instead of his fingernail. How this happened, I'm not exactly sure. But I felt horrible. I said, "I'm sorry" several times, trying to soothe my hurting son.

He got over it quickly--hopefully a sign of toughness to come. But I kept feeling bad about the whole thing. For the first time in his life, I hurt my son. You could definitely say that I "put Caleb to grief." Then this thought entered my mind:

What must it have been like for God to hurt His Son?

Isaiah 53 is a chapter that foretells the suffering of Jesus in the place of guilty sinners. It describes with great accuracy what Christ was to endure hundreds of years later. But amidst the description of His face being marred and his appearance being beyond human semblance, verse 10 (quoted above) stands out as the scariest part of His suffering. It says that the LORD (i.e. the Father) was the One punishing Him and "putting Him to grief." At Calvary, the Father was pouring out His wrath on His innocent Son for the sins of people like me, so we could be forgiven and reconciled to Him.

The Father did much more than clip a finger tip.

And He didn't do it on accident.

He willingly punished His Son with horror beyond what I can imagine. As a father myself now, I wonder how could He do this?! If I struggle with hurting Caleb on accident, how could He punish Christ on purpose? How difficult and painful must it have been--not just for Jesus, but for Him too? (Granted, Jesus "became sin" for us. So the Father was justly punishing Him. It's not as if He regretted it like I regretted hurting Caleb. But still...can you imagine what this must have been like?)

As a sinner who would be doomed if He hadn't, I am unexplainably thankful that He put Christ to grief for my sake. Being reminded of what He did makes me stand more and more in awe of the Father.

1 comment:

Kathy said...

Marc, I remember when Doug did that to Stephanie while we were still in the hospital, the band-aid they put on her was bigger than her hand. I never thought of the similarities between our children and the pain we sometimes give them and the pain God had to endure to put His own Sn to death because of HIs love for us. You will find out later that just as God discipline hurts us, the discipline we need to give our children hurt them sometimes. I think of my father saying "this will hurt me more than it hurts you" and I used to thin he was lying. But as a parent the truth is sometimes it does hurt us to do the right thing by training up our children the way God would want us to.