It was His own love that fastened Him there!
(Octavius Winslow, "Morning Thoughts")
"Jesus fully realized all that was going to happen
to Him." John 18:4
His voluntariness was not founded on ignorance.
He well knew what the covenant of redemption
involved; what stern justice demanded. The entire
scene of His humiliation was before Him, in all its
dark and somber hues . . .
the bloodthirsty king,
the scorn and ridicule of His countrymen,
the unbelief of His own kinsmen,
the mental agony of Gethsemane,
the bloody sweat,
the bitter cup,
the waywardness of His disciples,
the betrayal of one,
the denial of another,
the forsaking of all,
the mock trial,
the purple robe,
the crown of thorns,
the infuriated cries, "Away with Him, away
with Him! Crucify Him, crucify Him!"
the heavy cross,
the painful crucifixion,
the cruel taunts,
the vinegar and the gall,
the hidings of His Father's countenance,
the concentrated horrors of the curse,
the last cry of anguish,
the falling of the head,
the giving up the spirit;
all, all was before the omniscient mind of the
Son of God, with vividness equal to its reality.
And yet He willingly rushed to the rescue of
ruined man! He voluntarily, though He knew
the price of pardon was His blood, gave Himself
up thus to the bitter, bitter agony.
And did He regret that He had undertaken the work?
Every step He took from Bethlehem to Calvary
did but unfold the willingness of Jesus to die.
Oh, how amazing was the love of Jesus!
This, this was the secret why He did not spare
His own life. He loved sinners too well.
He loved us better than Himself. With all our
sinfulness, guilt, wretchedness, and poverty;
He yet loved us so much as to give Himself an
offering and sacrifice unto God for us. Here was
the springhead where these streams of mercy
flowed from. This was the gushing fountain
that was opened when He died.
And when they taunted Him and said, "If You are
the King of the Jews, save Yourself," oh, what a
reply did His silence give, "I came not to save
Myself, but My people. I hang here, not for My
own sins, but for theirs. I could save Myself,
but I came to give My life a ransom for many."
They thought the nails alone kept Him
to the cross. He knew it was His own love
that fastened Him there!
Behold the strength of Immanuel's love!
Come, fall prostrate, adore and worship Him!
Oh, what love was His!
Oh the depth!
Do not content not yourself with standing upon
the shore of this ocean; enter into it, drink largely
from it. It is for you, if you but feel . . .
this ocean is for you!
It is not for angels, it is for men.
It is not for the righteous, but for sinners.
Then drink to the full from the love of Jesus.
Do not be satisfied with small supplies.
Take a large vessel to the fountain.
The larger the demand, the larger the supply.
The more needy, the more welcome.
The more vile, the more fit.