“My son, if you become surety for your friend, if you have shaken hands in pledge for a stranger, you are snared by the words of your mouth; you are taken by the words of your mouth.” (Proverbs 6:1-2)

These words, spoken by Solomon, could have been said from God the Father, to the Son. It is as though the Father said this to Jesus when He said, “Here I am, send Me” (Isa 6:8) as the One who would go to redeem the people. Jesus would become surety for us, His friends and yet strangers. He would be bound to His pledge, and as a result, would suffer.

“He who is surety for a stranger will suffer” (Prov 11:15). Knowing this, Christ still laid down His life for us. Solomon warned, “Do not be one of those who shakes the hands in a pledge, one of those who is surety for debts” (Prov 22:26). But Jesus having full understanding did just this.

The Word of God, as the Servant of God, became the Lamb of God and bound Himself to humility that He might be the Savior of the world in bearing the sin of many. He cried out at the culmination of His work saying, “O Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me, nevertheless, not as I will, but as You will” (Mt 26:39). He knew what He would have to suffer.

“Now My soul is troubled, and what shall I say? ‘Father, save Me from this hour’? But for this purpose I came to this hour. Father, glorify Your name.” (Jn 12:27-28)

Jesus was willing to offer Himself as a sacrifice for the debts of men because He knew the Collector was just and righteous and good. God would not allow Him to do such a work without being rewarded. The Father swore to the Son with an oath, “Thou art a priest forever after the order of Melchizedek.” Jesus knew, because the Father had promised, that His soul would not be left in Sheol and His body would not see corruption. “By so much was Jesus made SURETY of a BETTER testament” (Heb 7:21-22). A surety for His friends made Him bound to His promise and the goodness of His Father exalted Him to the highest place.

Jesus, “Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: but made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: and being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” (Philippians 2:6-11)

Surety for a friend makes you bound. Jesus is a good friend.

– Pat Woods