Posted by: Bill Hornbeck | November 16, 2014

“You are My beloved Son, in You I am well-pleased.”

Today’s devotion comes from Deuteronomy 21:18-23.

“If any man has a stubborn and rebellious son who will not obey his father or his mother, and when they chastise him, he will not even listen to them, then his father and mother shall seize him, and bring him out to the elders of his city at the gateway of his hometown.  They shall say to the elders of his city, ‘This son of ours is stubborn and rebellious, he will not obey us, he is a glutton and a drunkard.’  Then all the men of his city shall stone him to death; so you shall remove the evil from your midst, and all Israel will hear of it and fear.

“If a man has committed a sin worthy of death and he is put to death, and you hang him on a tree, his corpse shall not hang all night on the tree, but you shall surely bury him on the same day (for he who is hanged is accursed of God), so that you do not defile your land which the Lord your God gives you as an inheritance.”  Deuteronomy 21:18-23.


In sharpest contrast to this son who is a glutton and drunkard whom the parents will bring out to the gateway of his hometown so that the men of his city shall stone him to death, there is a Son (Jesus Christ, the Son of God) about Whom God the Father said:  “You are My beloved Son, in You I am well-pleased.”  Luke 3:22.

“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.”  Isaiah 53:10.

And so, God the Father sent His beloved, only begotten Son, to be lifted up and die on the cross.  “As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up;  so that whoever believes will in Him have eternal life.  “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.”  John 3:14-16.

And, this Son, Jesus Christ, knowing His Father’s will to send Him to the cross, nevertheless accomplished His Father’s will.  “Father, if You are willing, remove this cup from Me;  yet not My will, but Yours be done.”  Luke 22:42.  “I glorified You on the earth, having accomplished the work which You have given Me to do.”  John 17:4.

“Christ redeemed us from the curse of the Law, having become a curse for us—for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree”—  in order that in Christ Jesus the blessing of Abraham might come to the Gentiles, so that we would receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.”  Galatians 3:13-14.

In summary, today’s Scripture commanded the son who was a glutton and drunkard to be punished by death.  We too are disobedient and rebellious, deserving to be punished by death.  Here is what the Heidelberg Catechism states in part:

Q. 10.  Will God suffer such disobedience and rebellion to go unpunished? 

A.  By no means;  but is terribly displeased with our original as well as actual sins;  and will punish them in his just judgment temporally and eternally, as he has declared, “Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things, which are written in the book of the law, to do them.” 

But, there is hope!  As today’s Scripture also commanded that one who is worthy of death to be hung on a tree, there is a Son Who was not only sent to generally die, but to specifically die on a cross.

Q. 39.  Is there anything more in his being “crucified”, than if he had died some other death? 

A.  Yes there is;  for thereby I am assured, that he took on him the curse which lay upon me;  for the death of the cross was accursed of God. 

Q. 40.  Why was it necessary for Christ to humble himself even “unto death”? 

A.  Because with respect to the justice and truth of God, satisfaction for our sins could be made no otherwise, than by the death of the Son of God.





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