“To deny God’s wrath upon sin not only robs us of a full view of God’s holiness and justice, but also can diminish our wonder, love, and praise at what it was that Jesus bore for us. . . . [Jesus] drains the cup of divine justice so there is not a drop left for us.”- Timothy Keller
“For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”- Mark 10:45 (NIV)
Timothy Keller concludes Chapter 5 of The Prodigal Prophet as he stresses that the Bible stays far from depicting a vindictive deity. Because, through Jesus’ incarnation, the Bible as a whole shows us a God with great mercy. A God who comes to earth and bears His own penalty.
Most significantly, we possess the same problem as Jonah. Namely, a conviction that if we fully surrender our will to God, He won’t be committed to our good and joy. However, Pastor Keller offers the ultimate proof that this deeply rooted belief is a lie. For we can trust a God who substitutes Himself for us to that we may go free.
Certainly, this greatly impacts the pagan sailors. And when the sea calms, a greater fear than drowning seizes them. The fear of the Lord – Yahweh. Hence, the deliverance of Jonah helps the sailors see the greatness of God. Therefore, Pastor Keller explains:
“Foxhole conversions are notorious. . . . These men were different. They made their vows after the danger passed. That indicates that they were not seeking God for what he could do for them, but simply for the greatness of who he is in himself. This is the beginning of true faith. All of this is ironic. Jonah was fleeing God because he did not want to go and show God’s truth to wicked pagans. but that’s exactly what he ends up doing.”
Then a great fish swallows Jonah. And in that three-day prison he receives his first insights into the meaning and wonder of God’s grace.
Today’s question: What does it mean to you that Jesus drains the cup of divine justice? Please share.
Tomorrow’s blog: “Prayer at the bottom”