If the secret must be told!
The following is from Spurgeon's sermon, #2117
"The Father's Love to His Dying Son" John 10:17.
Jesus' laying down his life for us is the central
display of his love, and the chief cause of our
affection to him.
We love him for the holiness of his character,
for the tenderness of his heart, for the excellence
of his teaching; and, indeed, we love him for
everything about his blessed person and work.
But, if the secret must be told, our hearts
chiefly won when our Beloved put on the crimson
vesture, and stood before us decked with wounds,
and pale in death. Then did we sing of him,
"White and ruddy is my Beloved."
Oh, the beauties of our King when he stands
beneath the purple canopy of sacrifice!
Our heart is won and held in joyful captivity when
we can say, "You were slain, and have redeemed
us to God by your blood." That text often thrills
our heart wherein we read, "Who his own self
bore our sins in his own body on the tree."
Calvary reveals the great fountain of our love!
The cross is the pole whereon is uplifted the
banner of love, both his and ours. We love him
because he first loved us, and Golgotha is the
window through which his love looks.
The Good Shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.
Will a man die for sheep?
Yes, that could possibly happen. But could the
Son of God die for such base creatures as we are?
We were, of ourselves, by no means so great a
treasure to Christ as a sheep is to a man; and
yet he thought far more of us than shepherds
do of their flocks. We were by nature only as so
many foxes, or serpents, or creeping things; but
yet the Lord Christ, having set his love upon us,
would not rest until he had laid down his life for us!
Alas! we were as ungrateful as we were unworthy.
We even opposed the efforts of our Savior. We
acted more like goats than sheep, for we butted
with our horns against our Shepherd.
We were stray sheep, and did not return at his call; we
did not follow him, but we went farther and farther away.
We were lame as to returning; but "when we were yet
without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly."
We are sheep, too, that still go astray very grievously.
After having been brought back on his shoulders, after
having been pastured by his care, yet still we go astray!
We are sheep that were lost; we are sheep that would
lose themselves again, if they could; sheep that make
a very poor return to him that shepherds us.
"Is this your kindness to your Friend?" is a question
which might often awake sad memories in our hearts.
Beloved, let us love our Lord more! Surely, we cannot
help it, as we perceive our own undeservings, and the
greatness of his love whereby he laid down his life for us!
Indulge yourself with a sight of his love
as it hangs bleeding on the tree.
Child of God, see how Jesus loves you!
Look to his cross!
Look wholly to the slain Jesus!
Blessed, forever blessed, be your dear name, O Jesus!
There is none like it in heaven, nor in the heaven of
heavens. How shall we praise you? Our tears of gratitude
come to our rescue; if we cannot speak your praises,
we will weep them.