He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things? http://esv.to/Rom8.32
Look for four things
The Father’s love
The Son’s worth
There are few sentences that have ever been written that are more profound than that sentence — even in the Bible.
It is good for us to wrestle with deep things in God’s Word, because those deep things in the book of the people of God. These words are meant for the profit of the people of God. All Scripture is profitable.
Second: Wrestling with the profoundest theological truth teaches us to learn the limits of understanding.
Mystery is the lifeblood of dogmatics. To be sure, the term “mystery” (μυστηριον) in Scripture does not mean an abstract supernatural truth in the Roman Catholic sense. Yet Scripture is equally far removed from the idea that believers can grasp the revealed mysteries in a scientific sense. In truth, the knowledge that God has revealed of himself in nature and Scripture far surpasses human imagination and understanding. In that sense it is all mystery with which the science of dogmatics is concerned, for it does not deal with finite creatures, but from beginning to end looks past all creatures and focuses on the eternal and infinite One himself. From the very start of its labors, it faces the incomprehensible One. — Bavinck
If we understood everything in the Bible it wouldn’t be true.
Third: This verse is given for a practical purpose. The Roman Christians want to know if God is for us. (Read the preceding verses). You want to know whether God is for you? Here’s how you know that. Here is the measure of God’s love for you.
When we question the love and goodness of God, there is Romans 8:32.
The Father’s Love:
The eternal love of the Father is the initiator of the cross-work of Christ.
Paul’s emphasis is not on Christ’s work, but upon the Father’s love. It is the Father who is acting in this verse. This is important because of our misconceptions of God the Father. Sometimes our picture is wrong as if our salvation had to wrested from a reluctant deity — as if the Son were beginning the Father to forgive his people.
Think of how often the love of the Father is emphasized in the verses which describe the cross. Consider John 3:16: The Father loved, the Father gave. The emphasis is on the love and giving of the Father in the giving of his Son.
Isaiah 53:10, the Suffering Servant is at the pleasure of the Father.
this Jesus, delivered up according to the definite plan and foreknowledge of God, you crucified and killed by the hands of lawless men. http://esv.to/Acts2.23
Here is the priesthood of the Father, giving his Son.
What does the Father see at the cross (which he is causing to happen). Genesis 22. The greatest human father is but a pale reflection of the heavenly Father.
What of Absalom’s rebellion? When Joab tells David that Absalom
And the king was deeply moved and went up to the chamber over the gate and wept. And as he went, he said, “O my son Absalom, my son, my son Absalom! Would I had died instead of you, O Absalom, my son, my son!” http://esv.to/2Sam18.33
Jesus is on the cross because the Father loves his people.
There are some who argue against penal substitutionary atonement because we should emphasize love — but the wrath is because of the Father’s love. The Father’s love is so great that he has given his Son.
The Son’s Worth
he did not spare HIS OWN SON.
This Son was loved as no human son was ever loved. Gen. 22, “take your son, your only Son, Isaac, whom you love”. Every syllable of that directive is like a knife in the soul of Abraham.
John 1, In the beginning was … God – no, the Word, and the Word was with God.
The Son was toward the Father.
Col. 1:13, “the Son of his love”. τοῦ υἱοῦ τῆς ἀγάπης αὐτοῦ,
Micah they went out and came in together.
At the cross, they saw a malefactor; God saw his Son.
He was a Son who loved to fulfill the righteousness of his Father. It is my food to the will of him who sent me.
Jesus said to them, “My food is to do the will of him who sent me and to accomplish his work. http://esv.to/John4.34
You will never understand the cross if you do not understand the exceeding worth of the Son.
You can’t look at the cross and doubt the forgiving love and grace of the Father, when you understand whom he gave on the cross.
The Father does not love you less than he loves his own Son:
I made known to them your name, and I will continue to make it known, that the love with which you have loved me may be in them, and I in them.” http://esv.to/John17.26
Jesus calls for us to participate in the love of the Father and Son.
Third: Wrath’s Curse
He who did not spare, but delivered him up for us all.
He does not receive more than we deserve; and he was not spared.
There is a sense in which he was the least prepared being in the universe when it came to suffering the curse: he had never not know the Father.
Moses at the Golden Calf
And he said to him, “If your presence will not go with me, do not bring us up from here. http://esv.to/Ex33.15 If you won’t go, then kill us here.
Our sin: we can go hours, days weeks and months and not even notice that have not been in the presence of God.
ὅς γε τοῦ ἰδίου υἱοῦ οὐκ ἐφείσατο, ἀλλὰ ὑπὲρ ἡμῶν πάντων παρέδωκεν αὐτόν, πῶς οὐχὶ καὶ σὺν αὐτῷ τὰ πάντα ἡμῖν χαρίσεται
delivered up is here technical language.
The sovereignty of God in the death of Christ — the leaders had said they were not going to arrest Jesus that week, and Jesus says, Oh yes you are.
Acts 2: delivered up
Acts 4: Jesus whatever the Father predetermined
Gen. 22, the angel calls out and stops Abraham
The death angel stops before David — on that place the temple is built and sacrifices are offered as a substitute
But there was no voice which yelled stop when it came for Jesus. There were no substitute sacrifices, because he was the sacrifice.
We can never know or feel what it was to be Jesus as substitute. Even in glory, there will no one who knows what it is to be forsaken by God but our Savior.
Why? How can this be?
This question has led so many liberal theologians to deny penal substitutionary atonement.
Fourth: Grace’s Substitute
We have never seen a cross. The combination of Jesus and cross makes no sense. At the cross, the wrath of God is striking out at the one place it has no right to strike.
God says of human judges that they are unjust if they condemn the innocent and forgive the guilty.
If God had killed the entire human race, that would make sense. It makes no sense to a-curse the Son. It is the most unjust thing that ever happen. It is more unjust that all the injustices which trouble us.
How can this be? Paul answers, “for us all.” hyper hemon panton.
No one takes my life from me.
We have heard the blasphemy, “cosmic child abuse”. This Son has said, I want to take their place. I want to carry their sin. I want your love to be exalted in their hearts, so I will take this curse.
You wonder how is God is for you? This is the answer.
That’s something to be encouraged about.