“It pleased the Lord to bruise him; he hath put him to grief.”—Isaiah 53:10
The depths of wisdom were explored to furnish redemption, and to find a person competent to accomplish it; and when found, the depths of love were broken up, to make it complete. My soul, read over the mysterious volume which the Lord hath in part opened before thee. It cost the Father his thoughts from all eternity, to appoint a plan, by which, consistently with his holiness and his justice, thou mightest be saved. It cost the Father his Son, his dear Son, his only Son, before that thou couldest be redeemed. Jesus must die ere thou canst live. Pause over the subject as it is here expressed. “It pleased the Father to bruise him.” Jesus, who was in himself holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and made higher than the heavens; he, who knew no sin, must be made sin; he who never merited wrath, must be made a curse. Read on; Jesus must die! and by whom? Not by Jews, nor Gentiles only; not simply by high priests and governors among men; but by God the Father. He must bruise him, and put hint to grief; for though Jesus was taken, and by wicked hands crucified and stain, yet all this, we are told, was “by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God.” And is there yet another chapter of wonders in this mysterious volume? Yes; what can it be? Namely, that all this was for sinners, for rebels, for enemies; nay, my soul, for thee. Wonder, O heavens, and be astonished, O earth! Had our whole nature been bruised to all eternity in the mortar of divine wrath, for the sin of our nature; what would all this have been to the sufferings, agonies, and death of the Lamb of God? And didst thou die for me, O thou unequalled pattern of love and mercy, and by try stripes is my soul healed? Precious Jesus!
Robert Hawker (1753-1827) was an Anglican (High-Calvinist) preacher who served as Vicar of Charles Church, Plymouth. John Hazelton wrote of him:
“The prominent features…in Robert Hawker's testimony…was the Person of Christ….Dr. Hawker delighted to speak of his Lord as "My most glorious Christ.” What anxious heart but finds at times in the perusal of the doctor's writings a measure of relief, a softening, and a mellowing? an almost imperceptible yet secret and constraining power in leading out of self and off from the misery and bondage of the flesh into a contemplation of the Person and preciousness of Christ as "the chiefest among ten thousand and the altogether lovely." Christ and Him crucified was emphatically the burden of his song and the keynote of his ministry. He preached his last sermon in Charles Church on March 18th, 1827, and on April 6th he died, after being six years curate and forty-three years vicar of the parish. On the last day of his life he repeated a part of Ephesians 1, from the 6th to the 12th verses, and as he proceeded he enlarged on the verses, but dwelt more fully on these words: "To the praise of His glory Who first trusted in Christ." He paused and asked, "Who first trusted in Christ?" And then made this answer: "It was God the Father Who first trusted in Christ."