The natural man is quite in love with the principle of "law" and is a stickler for its requirements to be kept by everyone except himself. He is quite convinced that it is wrong for a man to steal something that belongs to him. He is sure that the principle of "an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth" is a good one and is intent on seeing those sanctions carried out when he is offended by someone. He supposes that justice is his friend and that he will be vindicated in the end by that very justice (which he assumes will be kind to his own transgressions) which he delights in. It is this mindset which disables him (along with his love of sin) from comprehending the truth of the gospel and the spiritual nature of GOD's holy demands upon men.
It is also here that he stumbles in having any comprehension of that which JESUS CHRIST has done in the behalf of HIS elect children. The LORD said "But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also. And if any man will sue thee at the law, and take away thy coat, let him have thy cloak also. And whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile, go with him twain. Give to him that asketh thee, and from him that would borrow of thee turn not thou away. Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbor, and hate thine enemy. But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you." (Mat 5:39-44) This teaching by CHRIST is directly at odds with everything that a man by nature agrees with and holds inviolable. So it should come as no surprise that the central theme of the gospel, which is redemption, would not be comprehended or embraced by those whose view of propriety and justice is centered in their own myopic (i.e.; nearsighted, self-centered) observations.
It is outside of the scope of a natural mans understanding that "love" could compel another to sacrifice his own self for those who despise him and naturally hate everything about him. Paul said, "For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die. But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us." (Rom 5:6-8) There is no possible way that such a thing makes any sense to the natural man. In fact it seems to violate his very sense of right and wrong since love is in his mind something that must be reciprocated in order for him to demonstrate it.
Yet the grand declaration of the gospel sets forth, as its very theme; the JUST dying for the unjust, the chief of sinners being loved by HIM who knew no sin. He who is unworthy of the least of the LORD's mercies being shown mercy by HIM who is worthy of all praise. The ONE who hates sin and is the very antithesis to death, bearing sin's curse and dying for those who despised HIS holiness and rushed headlong to embrace the death and destruction which resulted from their willful disobedience to HIS commands. Oh who can grasp such a premise? It is too high for mortals to comprehend; neither can the angels understand the glory of it since they have never experienced it and have never sinned. How can it be that the darling SON of GOD should come under the very wrath of the ONE whom HE adored? Why would HE who had no guile in HIS mouth be brought to cry out , "My GOD, My GOD why hast thou forsaken me?" Like Job's friends of old, who considered ;that Job justly suffered for his own sin, the natural man has no comprehension of what HE has done in willingly laying down HIMSELF as an offering for sin and suffering pain in the room and stead of those who justly deserve to die. "Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities." (Isa 53:4-5)
The modern use of the word bruise means to slightly wound without breaking the skin but the word "bruise" used here in the scripture literally means to "crush, destroy, or break in pieces." The wounding of the LORD JESUS CHRIST was no slight wound nor any mere discomfort endured by HIM but was a complete destruction of HIS humanity under the awful load of sin's curse. The natural man can see the physical suffering of the LORD as HE was "bruised" under the hand of HIS FATHER, but he cannot fathom the depth of the agony which HE bore when HE tasted death. HIS bruising involved:
Having the sin of HIS people laid upon HIM. Though he was personally untouched or untainted by any actual act of sin, yet HE had all of the filth and guilt of the sins of HIS elect laid upon HIM. HE who was of purer eyes than to even look upon sin bore every jot and tittle of its curse in their behalf. No person who has ever fallen into an open sewer has ever experienced even a hint of the foul stench into which HE willingly sunk in order to be a substitute for those given to HIM from the foundation of the world. The full load of this began to be laid upon HIM in the garden and its foulness was so great that HE was in agony in mind and soul and cried out for deliverance but there was to be none. HE bore our curse and suffered our punishment without quarter or relief of any kind.
The destruction of HIS body. Much has been written of the agonizing death which was to be had in Roman crucifixion, but I dare say that men cannot describe the awful pain of the Eternal SON of GOD as the very life's blood poured from HIS body. HE who formed man from the dust experienced the very death intended for all transgressors. The Psalmist of old described HIS misery in Psalm 22. Not only was he tormented by HIS creation but became acquainted with their grief and suffering in HIS own body on the accursed tree.
A total separation between HE and the FATHER. This was the most awful suffering that HE underwent. Nothing that a man can conceive as horrific could be as terrible as being cast out from the presence of GOD in judgement for sin. Great numbers of the wicked shall indeed experience this fate but they shall do so in just recompense of their deeds. HE was innocent of any transgression, enjoying the fellowship and presence of HIS FATHER before the worlds were created and yet for our sake was "bruised". "Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness." (1 Pet.2:24)mam