O sad spectacle of misery, grief, and woe!

(James Smith, "Christ Exalted, Saints Comforted, and Sinners Directed" 1855)

"Jesus came to take away our sins!" 1 John 3:5

Here notice the purpose and end of His coming: "To take away our sins!"

Our sins were committed against Himself.
They deserved His everlasting displeasure.
They called aloud for His vengeance to awake and punish us.
He foresaw the whole of them — in all their variety, enormity, and aggravation. He knew that they would be sins against His law, His love, and His tenderest mercy — sins against light, out of bitter enmity, and perpetrated over and over again. He knew the whole amount of our vileness — and yet "Jesus came to take away our sins!" Oh, the greatness of His love!
Sin had . . .
  incensed Divine justice against us,
  exposed us to Jehovah's wrath, and
  brought us under the dreadful curse of His violated law.

Therefore Jesus came and took away our sins, and at the same time . . .
  satisfied the claims of divine justice,
  appeased the Father's wrath,
  and bore our curse Himself!

O wondrous love!

O marvelous grace!

O astonishing mercy!

But more wondrous, more marvelous, more astonishing — is Jesus Himself — who did this for us, and did it freely, without solicitation, or anything in us to induce Him to do it!

But how could Jesus take away our sins? "God made Him to be sin for us."
He bore the weight of our sins,
He endured their merited punishment,
and He suffered the shame they procured.

He was . . .
  despised by men,
  tormented by devils,
  smitten with the sword of divine justice,
  forsaken by His Father,
  mocked by His creatures,
  overwhelmed with grief,
  torn with anguish, and
  His heart was broken with reproach and agony
 — all for a poor, sinning, sorrowing, Hell-deserving creature like me!


Sin lay upon Him,
the wrath of God was endured by Him,
the most fearful terrors surrounded Him,
Heaven, earth, and Hell, appeared as though leagued against Him!
Men grossly insulted Him,
devils tried all in their power to destroy Him, and
God was pleased to bruise Him, and then leave Him to languish in heart-breaking sorrow.

O sad spectacle of misery, grief, and woe!

Was there ever sorrow, like unto Your sorrow?

Was there ever love, like unto Your love?

You might have sat upon Your throne, enjoying Your own glory, happiness, and felicity forever — and have justly left us to perish in our sins, and suffer for our own transgressions! But no, you would be Jesus — you would save Your people from their sins!

You would come to take away our sins, though in so doing — justice took away Your honor, happiness, and life. You would not leave us to perish — but You would put away our sins by the sacrifice of Yourself. You have . . .
  turned away Jehovah's wrath,
  cast all our sin into the depths of the sea, and
  bore our punishment in Your own body on the cruel tree!

Indeed Your love is astonishing, inconceivable, and almost too great for my weak faith to believe!

Dear Lord Jesus, You are exactly what I need — and You are all that I need. Your love will be . . .
  a sufficient portion in life,
  a divine cordial in death, and
  an ocean of felicity in which to bathe forever!

To see Him, love Him, and extol Him — is the Heaven of every Christian. He is . . .
  sweeter than honey,
  more pleasant than the light, and
  more precious than life itself!

To know Him — is to be truly wise.
To live upon Him — is to be happy.
To walk with Him — is to be holy.
To look to Him, expect from Him, and cast all our cares upon Him — is to honor Him.