(James Smith, "Looking Upon the Pierced One!" 1860)
"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
If we would enjoy peace, grow in grace, and walk with God — there is one object on which the eye of the mind should be constantly fixed. Therefore it is written, as the language of our crucified Lord, "They shall look upon Me whom they have pierced!" Zechariah 12:10.
Pierced! WHO pierced Him?
WE did — and pierced Him to the heart! Nor were we satisfied with piercing Him once — for we have pierced Him often, and pierced Him through and through!
Our unbelief pierces Him;
our ingratitude pierces Him;
the coldness of our love pierces Him;
our forgetfulness pierces Him;
our preferring the world to Him pierces Him;
our disobedience to His Word pierces Him;
and our doubting of His love pierces Him!
It was WE who pierced Him on Calvary!
We put the nails and the hammer into the hands of the executioners!
We put the spear into the hand of the Roman soldier!
Yes, it was we who . . .
gathered the thorns,
picked out the sharpest,
formed them into a mock crown,
thrust it on His head, and
with the staff beat the thorns into His temples!
See, see, there He hangs! Pierced in His head, hands, feet, and side — pierced for us — pierced by us!
Look, my soul, at the pierced One!
God's holy Son hangs on that cross!
O my soul, look at Jesus!
He is your Substitute.
He is there for you!
He is suffering death for you!
He is bearing the desert of your sins in His body on the tree!
He is enduring your curse, being made accursed for you!
He is revealing . . .
what is in man's nature,
what is in God's heart, and
what He is willing to do and suffer — rather than I should perish!
Yes, Jesus is there for me!
He represents my person!
He answers for my crimes!
He dies in my stead!
O Savior, was ever any love, was ever any agony, was ever any death — like Yours!
Look, my soul, look to Jesus, the pierced One!
Look, and mourn — because your sins degraded, disgraced, and put Him to grief!
Look, and rejoice, for you shall have . . .
dignity — by His degradation,
honor — by His disgrace, and
life — by His death!
Look, and be sorry that you have ever sinned, and so caused Jesus to suffer!
Look, and rejoice that you shall live forever to glorify and praise His name!
O my soul, Jesus was wounded for your transgressions, and bruised for your iniquities!
His blood has made your peace with God,
His righteousness gives you a title to eternal life,
and His death delivers you from dying!
I fix my eye intently on Jesus on the Hill Calvary, and marking all His tears, wounds, and agonies — I feel that I was the cause of all. I myself did it! Yes, I MYSELF . . .
spit on Him,
crowned Him with thorns,
smote Him with the fist, and
nailed Him to the cursed tree!
I inflicted it all.
Yet, O wonder of wonders! I derive pardon, holiness, and eternal life from it!