He Was Not Only Able…But Willing!

Erik Raymond —  April 22, 2011

Think with me about the specific qualifications for humanity’s savior. He must be a perfect man. He cannot sin. If he is to be our substitute and rescuer then he cannot be a transgressor of this same Law. He must be perfect. He must be both God and man. Wholly God and fully man.

Of course there is no one created who qualifies for this post. We are, after all, created beings. And, as descendants of the first Adam, therefore beset by the same weakness as he.

Furthermore, no angel may pick up this mantle. In addition to not being eternally and inherently righteous they are not human. Therefore, the arch-angel Michael is not a suitable substitute for humanity.

There is but one in heaven who qualifies for the post. It alone is Immanuel, God’s own beloved Son. He is the special, unique, Son of God (Col. 1.13). Only he can be both God and man. Only he can come and bear the unrelenting weight of the Law and then go and swig down the eternal vat of condemnation that awaits all who rebel against God.

And here is the punchline: Not only was he eligible, but he was willing.

Listen, it would be one thing to be qualified to be the Savior. He then is different than us and worthy of all praise. There is no question here.

But he is more than eligible, he was willing!

He was willing to come and put on humanity.

He was willing to subject himself to breathe in the sin polluted smog of this world.

He was willing to walk through the sewer of the corrupt religious system of apostate 1st Century Judaism.

Further, he was willing to obey the Law perfectly. This he did not because he had to himself and for himself, but for us! He magnified the Law and made it glorious, to magnify God’s name and show it to be glorious.

And even more, he was willing to subject himself to serve, to be a servant unto death, even death on a cross (Phil. 2.6-8).

He was the only one eligible and willing to ascend Calvary’s hill and be impaled by the nails, to be lifted up in sin-bearing shame, and to intercede on behalf of sinners.

He was the only one eligible to, with parched lips from drinking damnation dry, yell, “It is finished!” —Tetelestai! That one little word that Martin Luther referred to did indeed fell the great Goliath and adversary Satan!

And he was the only one eligible to crush death like an empty beer can on the third day. He was the only one eligible and willing to step in the ring with sin, Satan, and death. And he is the only one who could ever emerge victorious.

So dear believer, behold your Savior again today. Behold his infinite love for you (1 John 4.10). He was the only one eligible to save you. And, more than that, he was willing to. Let that rushing river of grace flood your heart unto praise and thanksgiving today.

Erik Raymond

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Erik has been writing at Ordinary Pastor since 2006. He lives in Omaha with his wife and kids while pastoring at Emmaus Bible Church. Follow regular updates on Twitter at www.twitter.com/erikraymond

3 responses to He Was Not Only Able…But Willing!

  1. Every time we sing “A Mighty Fortress is Our God” in church I wonder about that “one little word.” Suddenly that hymn has fresh meaning for me!

    • I think there is some debate about whether or not that was absolutely what Luther meant. However, I have heard some pretty convincing arguments that it was.

  2. Amen. Great post brother! Thanks for this.