My cruel sins!
(Alexander Smellie, "The Hour of Silence" 1899)
"He was pierced for our transgressions,
He was crushed for our iniquities;
the punishment that brought us peace was upon Him,
and by His wounds we are healed!" Isaiah 53:5
I had my own part in bringing the unutterable anguish on the Lamb of God! Not the chief priests alone, and Judas the false disciple, and the rough Roman soldiers, and the fickle multitudes — not these alone were His crucifiers.
I wove the crown of thorns for His brow!
I nailed Him to the shameful Tree!
My sin and my guiltiness led Him out to His bitter death!
But I am healed with His stripes. If I am humbled and convicted of sin when I consider Calvary — I am gladdened also. After the midnight of poignant self-accusation — there is the dawn of a divine and endless joy and peace! It was for me, that my Lord's unblemished body was bared and crushed! He assumed my misery — and reaped the bitter harvest I had sown. Thus I, once 'Graceless' of the City of Destruction — but now 'Christian' of the Pilgrim's narrow way — I have rest by His sorrow, and life by His death.
First I am stricken with self-reproach. But, as I linger on the Hill of the Cross — my sorrow is changed into song, and I go on my way with a merry heart.
The blood of Christ ransoms me,
and His water washes me,
and His bruises heal me,
and His sweat refreshes me,
and His wounds hide me!
"Ah, you my sins, my cruel sins,
His chief tormentors were,
Each of my sins became a nail,
And unbelief the spear!"