November 26, 2020
Behold, My Servant whom I have chosen; My Beloved in whom My soul is well-pleased (Matthew 12:18).
When you read a text like Matthew 12:18 it can be confounding and confusing. How is it that God the Father ‘chose’ Christ to be the Servant-Son-Savior? Who else would He have chosen? Who else would have qualified? And did Christ have to be ‘chosen’ to serve in this capacity? Would there have been an inkling of dissension in Him that would have caused the Father to ‘choose’ someone else? But there was no one else to ‘choose’, was there?
‘Chosen’, in this text, does not carry the same meaning in English as it does in Greek. In fact, this particular word is found nowhere else in the New Testament. The word does not mean to select a particular one among others. It means to make a firm and decisive decision. We use such phrases as ‘crossing the Rubicon’ or ‘to cross the point of no return’ to convey the same idea.
Now, that the depth of the mystery of the Godhead is beyond our ability to fathom, is obvious. We will never comprehend the full relationship and interchange between the Persons of the Godhead. That being said, at a definite point in eternity past (which sounds like an oxymoron) God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit made the irrevocable decision to save a lost and rebellious humanity before that lost and rebellious humanity even existed! The plan was set, and the decision was made that salvation would require a blood sacrifice. Why a blood sacrifice? Because life is in the blood (Leviticus 17:11,14; Deuteronomy 12:23). Why is that so? I don’t know. We’ll have to take it up with the Father when we see Him.
It was also irrevocably decided that Christ would be the One who would secure our salvation by becoming incarnate human, living a perfectly sinless life, and offering His physical body on a cross as that blood sacrifice for sin. That decision was definitive among the three Persons of the Trinity. That’s what God meant when He said through the prophet Isaiah, Behold, My Servant whom I have chosen. And the wonder of it all is that this decision was made with you and me in mind. At once it is humiliating and humbling that the Father, Son, and Spirit would have to make that choice - humiliating that it was necessary to save us from the punishment of sin, and humbling that God would make that choice because He loves us so much.
“Heavenly Father, I cannot put into words my thankfulness for loving me as You do. I do not deserve even Your slightest notion, yet You have planned and put into effect my salvation before You mapped out the universe. It is beyond comprehension. It is beyond expression. I cannot take it in. I can only say ‘Thank You, Lord, for saving my soul; thank You Lord, for making me whole; thank You Lord, for giving to me Thy great salvation so rich and free’. May Your name be praised forever, Amen.”