1 Corinthians 1:24
But to them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God.
I. IN THE MYSTERIOUS CONSTITUTION OF HIS PERSON. He is styled, by one of the prophets, "the Wonderful." The more we gaze upon Him, the higher the wonder of His person will rise. But the wisdom of God became eminently conspicuous in the constitution of Christ as a propitiation for sin. Two natures were required, a suffering and a satisfying sacrifice. Suffering would not do without satisfaction; satisfaction could not be made without suffering.
1. An infinite satisfaction was required, consequently. there was but one nature that could present it. And here is that foundation on which the Divinity of Jesus rests.
2. But another nature was requisite for suffering; for Deity, abstractly considered, cannot suffer. And not only was suffering required, but human suffering; the penalty attached to the transgression of the law was suited to a human nature. But it was necessary that this human nature should be pure. A "holy thing" was required: the lamb was to be without blemish and without spot.
3. It was, moreover, necessary that these two natures should be constituted one person; and the union of the two natures was as perfect as the infinite wisdom of God required; for there was no change or confusion of the natures. The Deity, with all its ineffable glory was not deteriorated by its union with humanity. I know that there is wisdom displayed in every evolution of the Divine character; and great as it was to make man, it was greater to make God-man.
II. IN THE GLORIOUS RESULTS OF HIS ATONEMENT.
1. The consummation of God's great purpose to redeem man. The great redeeming plan commenced with the Father, who "so loved the world," &c. And here is the difficulty — God is an infinitely righteous Being. God saw the fearful havoc which sin had wrought, and how was He to repair it? Justice required the execution of the penalty. There were but two modes of proceeding. The wisdom of God might have been displayed in destruction. But, oh, how much more illustriously does His wisdom shine in the recovery of maul
2. The manifestation of the Divine attributes in their perfect and harmonised glory. Here you behold justice, truth, goodness, love; but they are altogether. When did we ever behold such a spectacle? The attributes of the Divine Being had been displayed in angelic history — all His amiable attributes, in reference to those who kept their first estate, and all His fearful attributes in the history of those who rebelled; but there were two separate and distinct theatres for these revelations. Nor does the human history furnish a parallel. The path of providence has occasionally exhibited one attribute and then another. Sometimes justice, as in the deluge, or in the overthrow of the cities of the plain; sometimes truth, as in the emancipation of the Hebrews; at one time, stern justice, and then at another, smiling mercy; but it was reserved for the gospel to exhibit them in combined and harmonious lustre; and when Jesus came to redeem our world, all God's attributes came rejoicingly with Him: "Justice and mercy met together — righteousness and peace embraced each other."
3. The triumphant manner in which our Lord conquered His enemies. Christ met Satan in His own way — the Cross was Satan's own weapon. But by that very Cross was the illustrious seed of the woman bruising the serpent's head, and destroying the powers of darkness; and it was by the Cross that Christ spoiled and triumphed over principalities and powers, made a show of them openly, and held them up to angelic scorn.
4. The firmer establishment of the Divine government. The Divine government is a government of motive, and all other kinds of government are coercive and irrational. Was there ever such a revelation of God's love as that which beamed on the Cross? And does not love beget love? Where much is forgiven, much is loved; and such a view of God attaches all spirits to Him.
III. IN THE PRACTICAL DISPENSATION OF HIS GOSPEL. The Church, you know, is the theatre by which the wisdom of God is made known to principalities and powers. Angels are our fellow-students, and what do they see? First of all the agents — poor Galileans, with nothing to offer to the learned, nothing to the commercial man, nothing to the politician. If the first preachers of the gospel had been invested with all the attractive learning of the schools, the most splendid truths of the gospel would have been obscured by human greatness; but the less there was of man, the more there was of God. And do you not perceive how strikingly the wisdom of God is manifested in the adaptation of the discoveries of Himself to our conceptions? There sits a poor fatherless child, there a poor widow, yonder a desolate orphan; and the gospel proffers them all that consolation which God only can impart. But, besides this, there is the accompanying influence. To the mere eye of philosophy this is nothing; but a poor man comes in, and he gazes, and there is nothing to strike him; but by and by the scales fall from his eyes, by and by a new influence comes over the heart, and he exclaims, "God is in this place, and I knew it not!" Witness the poor publican, smiting on his breast, groaning out the sinner's only plea, "God be merciful to me a sinner"
Parallel VersesKJV: But unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God.