Christ, a Man of Sorrows
"A man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief. Isaiah 53:3.
Of whom does the evangelical prophet speak these words but the Lord Jesus? It would seem impossible for the most learned Gentile, or the most prejudiced Jew, to find another being in the history of our race to whom the several particulars of this singular prophecy, this remarkable description, could properly apply. The portrait is too marked in its features, the character too life-like in its delineations, to be mistaken for any other being in a world where all are bowed with sorrow, than Him to whom alone it applies- the Suffering Messiah, the "Lamb slain from the foundation of the world." Entering upon a season which more especially concentrates our meditations upon the passion of our Lord, could we select a portion better calculated to guide our reflections, or a picture more deeply to affect our hearts, awakening that feeling of penitence and sentiment of gratitude which the spectacle of our suffering Savior should ever inspire, than that which presents to us our blessed Lord Jesus as "a Man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief?" May the Divine Spirit, whose office in redemption it is to take of the things of Christ and show them unto us, bring our souls into close and believing contact with the cross of Jesus, that, as we gaze upon this, the most wonderful scene the universe ever beheld, we may "have fellowship with Him in His sufferings." Let us, in our present meditation, consider in their order, our Lord in His redeeming humanity- the nature of His sorrow- and then the blessings which flow from a believing sight of Him whom our sins thus pierced. "A man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief."
OUR LORD IN HIS REDEEMING HUMANITY-
"A man." Humanity was essential to His sufferings. He could only suffer as man. It was the only vehicle through which sin-atoning suffering could flow. Hence the doctrine of the Incarnation underlies the whole system of Christianity. "God manifest in the flesh," is the transcendent fact, the all in all, of the Christian religion. And he who denies this fact, who would extract this essential tenet from the Christian faith, exposes the fabric of his hope to utter and eternal ruin. Man redeeming man is a revealed truth, a doctrine of salvation resplendent upon every page of the sacred word. Such is the truth which meets us on the threshold of our subject. "A MAN of sorrows." Let us contemplate this truth in a few of its more important aspects.
In the first place, our Lord as man was real man, truly man, "very man of very man," as the Creed expresses it. "A body have you prepared me." "The Word was made flesh." Then we read, "Forasmuch as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, He also Himself likewise took part of the same; that through death He might destroy Him that had the power of death, that is, the devil; and deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage." These are remarkable words. They set forth the great truth under consideration in points of light which no other passages of holy writ so impressively do. We too imperfectly realize this fact. Jealous- and properly so- of the Deity of Christ, we may too faintly regard His humanity. Hedging around the great doctrine of His Godhead with every text and argument which the Bible furnishes and the mind suggests, we may lose sight of the fact that, equally essential to our salvation, indispensably so as an element of His atoning death, is the doctrine of the real manhood. In bearing then our sins to the sacrifice of Christ, our guilt to the blood of Christ, our infirmities to the succour of Christ, our grief to the compassion of Christ, we find ourselves confronting a Divine being clothed in our veritable nature, a man as we are men, human as we are human, "bone of our bone and flesh of our flesh." It is no mere hallucination of the mind, no mere shadowy, impersonal being, whom we face, but "God manifest in the flesh"- a truly human and personal Savior, in whose presence we find ourselves in sin and suffering and woe. Oh, precious truth to those who yearn for the human in close and perfect sympathy with their own bruised, tried, and crushed humanity. How near is the Son of God brought to us! How close the Deity! We seem to see God, to feel God, to hear God in the wondrous incarnation of His beloved Son.
The humanity of Christ brings Jehovah within reach of the shortest hand of faith, of the faintest breath of prayer, of the dimmest eye of love. Oh, deal personally and closely, my reader, with this great and experimental truth of the gospel- the "fulness of the Godhead bodily in Christ." Your faith in close contact with this wondrous mystery will give you such a realizing sense of the Divine nearness and fellowship as will, under all circumstances and in all places, make God to you a real and a felt presence. You will thus "acquaint yourself with Him,'' and this closer acquaintance will dislodge from your mind those distant and vague conceptions, those distrustful and distressing feelings which you may hitherto have cherished of God, replacing them with filial confidence, sweet affection, and holy fellowship. Thoughts of God will now be pleasant, to draw near to Him your holiest privilege, to obey and serve Him your sweetest liberty and highest delight.
The humanity of Christ was not only real, but it was voluntary. It was a self-assumed humanity. "He also Himself took part of the same." It was not a forced nature, a coerced humiliation, to which the Son of God subjected Himself. Not so was it with us. We did not voluntarily take upon us our nature, it was given to us; we did not assume, we received it independently of our own will. The choice was not given to us whether we should be made brutes, or men, or angels; but God gave us a body as it pleased Him. But our blessed Lord, left to His own will and choice, chose to be man that He might redeem man. Dwelling in a pre-existent state of essential life and glory, He had power over all existence- for all life flowed from Him, and it was competent in Him to select the nature He most loved, and He selected ours, for from everlasting "His delights were with the children of men." He had, too, an essential purpose, and a covenant engagement to accomplish in this. He had entered into covenant with His Father to ransom His elect Church, His eternally chosen and loved people. This He could only do- and still His will was left perfectly free- by assuming the very nature He was to redeem. Therefore we read that, "as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, He also Himself likewise took part of the same." He was bound to take upon Him our nature, but He was self bound- bound by His own will, bound by His own law, bound by His own love "in all points to be made like unto His brethren," as truly flesh and blood as they. Oh, what a dignity has thus been put upon our nature! To what a scale of greatness and glory has this wondrous stoop of Deity raised it! The only true light in which to study the dignity and importance of our nature is the Incarnation of the Son of God. How raised, ennobled, and honored, would angels have deemed themselves had Divinity allied itself with their pure, seraphic forms! But, "He took not upon Him the nature of angels, but He took upon Him the seed of Abraham," and by this wondrous alliance, this profound stoop, He has elevated our nature infinitely higher than angels, and so our redeemed humanity in heaven stands nearer the throne than they.
We approach a step closer to our subject when reminded by the passage upon which we are commenting that, our blessed Lord assumed our nature in order to die. "That through death," or, in order "that through death He might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil." We naturally shrink from death. It is a terrible crisis, a fearful contingency of our nature, from which all our animal instincts recoil. But He who knew what death was, though He had not yet "tasted death," assumed a nature which He was well aware must pass through the throes and agonies of a mortal dissolution. Before He left the repose of His Father's bosom for the embrace of the cross, the entire scenes of Gethsemane and of Calvary passed vividly before His mind. And yet He chose a nature that must die, took a body in order to die; elected death- and of all deaths the most torturing and humiliating- as the consummation and the goal of His human existence. With this line, my reader, endeavor to comprehend something of the "height and depth, the length and breadth, of the love of Christ," "the Man of sorrows," which yet "passes knowledge." Into what else but love- infinite love, self-sacrificing love, unparalleled love- can we resolve this amazing step of Jesus? Before the eye of His omniscience, the whole scene of His humiliation and suffering passed. The cross, with all its sorrow and joy, its pain and pleasure, its ignominy and glory, its defeat and triumph, stood before His mind, as really and as truly as though it had been reared upon Calvary ages before He exchanged the abode of his glory for the scene of His shame. Herein is love, and nowhere else but here! Wonder, O heavens! be astonished, O earth! break forth into singing, O my soul! for the Lord has done great things for you. He took upon Him your nature, knowing that it would be smitten, and bruised, and scourged and spit upon, and His face marred more than the face of any man; and that, when all forms of indignity were exhausted, His foes would drag His sacred body to Golgotha, and impale it upon the accursed tree. Was ever love like this!
We are thus conducted to the last thought under this branch of the subject- the absolute necessity to His sorrow that Christ should be man. An absolute God of sorrow were a contradiction of terms, a moral impossibility. If the Son of God were to become personally acquainted with grief, He must become human. He could only sorrow as the "Man
of sorrows." Not that He divested Himself of His Deity for a moment. This were as utterly impossible as that His Deity could suffer. The Godhead and the Manhood of Christ were one and indivisible throughout His entire travail of soul. The one nature was as essential to His suffering as the other. Neither were independent of the ether in this great act of His life. As man He suffered; as God He atoned. As man He offered Himself an oblation for sin: as God He imparted to that oblation all its sacrificial virtue. His humanity was the vehicle of His divine offering; His Divinity gave to His humanity all its atoning efficacy and perfection. His Divinity was the altar upon which His Humanity was offered; and thus He made to Divine justice a full atonement for the "Church of God, which He purchased with His own blood."
What must be the sin-atoning nature, what the guilt-cleansing efficacy of that blood, which the Holy Spirit thus terms "God's own blood!" Shall we henceforth hesitate availing ourselves of its sovereign virtue? Shall we question its efficacy in our case? Shall we deem ourselves sinners too great, our transgressions too numerous, our guilt of too deep a hue, for the Savior to cleanse, for God to forgive? Forbid it, Man of sorrows! forbid it, dying love of Christ! I will come to You, believe in You, receive You; wash me in Your blood, and robe me with Your righteousness, though my sins were red like crimson, and my transgressions were countless as the sands.
We now approach the subject more especially suggested by the impressive title of our Lord, "the Man of Sorrows." The spectacle upon which we gaze is a marvellous one- the ground upon which we stand is holy- the event we contemplate the most stupendous and momentous in the history of the universe. In what sense are we to regard our Lord Jesus as the " Man of Sorrows and acquainted with grief"?
In the first place, He was a Man of Sorrows, because, as man, He was born under the curse. Sorrow was an consequence of the curse. God pronounced a curse upon the earth, and upon man in his passage through it, when His divine and holy law was broken. How awful its terms- "Cursed is the ground for your sake; in sorrow shall you eat of it all the days of your life; thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to you; and you shall eat the herb of the field; in the sweat of your face shall you eat bread, until you return unto the ground." Now our blessed Lord, in order to remove the curse, must first bear it; and in bearing it He became emphatically; and in a sense and to a degree as none other could, a "Man of sorrows." Behold, my soul, in the sorrow of the Savior, the pledge of the utter annihilation of your curse! His soul-grief, His bodily suffering, absolved you from it all. It fell upon Him in all its unmitigated, unmeasured force. There was no condoning the curse, no soothing or sweetening of its harshness and bitterness; but, standing in the place of His Church, He became a "curse for it;" and so was He a "Man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief."
In this light interpret all the dispensations of your God which look so threatening, feel so crushing, and utter their pealing voice as from the "secret place of thunder." Christ has entirely rolled the curse from off His people, turning it into a blessing. Thus, those very trials and sorrows, which, in the case of the ungodly, are "thorns and thistles" of the curse, in the experience of God's saints are blossoms, and flowers, and fruit, the hallowed result of sorrow's discipline, in which no curse is found. What real, what pure blessings, then, must our Father's corrections be, since from them Christ has extracted every particle of the curse, every drop of wrath, every frown of anger, every spark of hell! But, oh my soul, forget not what an element of severity must this have been in the soul-sorrow of your Lord! What an embittering ingredient in that cup of woe which trembled in His hand, yet which, for the love He bears you, He drank to the very lees, exclaiming, "Your will be done!"
As the sin-bearer of His Church, Christ was a "Man of sorrows." Thus, the sufferings of our Lord were vicarious, the sorrow of His soul sin-atoning. No other rational solution of His sufferings and grief can be found than this. The prophecy from where this title of our Lord is taken- a prophecy of the sufferings of Christ- is so real and so life-like that it might well be taken for a chapter of one of the evangelists- completely vindicates the vicarious nature of our Lord's sorrow. In this part of God's word, the sin-bearing, sin-atoning character of His death is presented with a clearness so distinct, the seeing eye cannot possibly mistake, and with a force so commanding the candid mind cannot possibly resist. How simple, solemn, and irresistible the statement of the evangelical prophet!- "He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement of our peace was upon Him, and with His stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray- we have turned every one to his own way; and the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all." "It pleased the Lord to bruise Him: He has put Him to grief: when You shall make His soul an offering for sin, He shall see His seed, He shall prolong His days, and the pleasure of the Lord shall prosper in His hand." Such is the Old Testament key to the New Testament history of our Lord's sorrow.
How confirmatory of this prophetical statement of our Lord's sorrow, as the Sin-Bearer of His people, is the teaching of His evangelists and apostles! "Christ died for our sins, according to the Scriptures." "Christ has loved us, and has given Himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet smelling savor." It were not necessary to multiply proof in evidence of a fact so demonstrably true. No other fact provides the least satisfactory clue to the deep soul-sorrow of our Lord but this. If that sorrow was not the consequence of His bearing sin- if His sufferings were not expiatory, His death sacrificial, His blood sin-atoning, then there is a mystery in the whole transaction of the cross which must forever remain inexplicable.
Beloved, what penetrates your heart with the deepest grief- what imparts to your soul the bitterest sorrow? Is it not sin? Does not the consciousness of guilt, the thought of having grieved the Spirit, of having wounded Christ, fill your very soul, at times, with unutterable anguish, and bow you to the dust in the profoundest spirit of self-abasement? Think, then, what must have been the overwhelming soul-sorrow of our blessed Lord, standing, as He did, beneath all the sins of His whole elect Church, from the first sin of Adam to the sins of the last chosen vessel of mercy.
But what language can portray, what imagination conceive, the depth of the sorrow which afflicted the holy soul of Jesus! Listen to His words, "Now my soul is deeply troubled. Should I pray, 'Father, save me from what lies ahead'? But that is the very reason why I came!" "My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death. . . . . O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me." Without the consciousness of personal guilt- for "He knew no sin"- He bore in His holy soul the fiery vengeance of Divine justice, endured the full tempest of Divine wrath, passed through the terrible darkness of the cross, when, in the unfathomable anguish of his soul, he exclaimed, "My God, my God, why have You forsaken me!" Oh, what a terrible eclipse of His soul was this! The hidings of God's face, the suspension of His sensible presence from His human soul, created a "horror of great darkness"- a darkness that truly might be felt. And had He not throughout all this sorrow, abandonment, and darkness been upheld by the power of His Deity, He must have succumbed, and His Church have perished forever. We shudder at the thought! But we suppose an impossibility. True, the humanity of our Lord was now passing through the deep baptism of suffering, but its union with His divinity sustained and bore it triumphantly through. The sacrifice was noble, as the sin which demanded it was great. An infinite justice was evoked, perfect law was broken, but an infinite Savior gave a full equivalent to the one, and made a full satisfaction to the other. The dignity of His Divinity conferred upon the sufferings of His humanity all the sin-atoning virtue and efficacy they possessed. Their sovereign value was as inseparable from His sufferings as His Divine nature was inseparable from the human. As Charnock remarks, "The union of His natures remained firm in all His passion; and, therefore, the efficacy of the Deity mingled itself with every groan in the agony, every pang and every cry upon the cross, as well as with the blood that was shed. The Divinity that could not suffer was joined to the suffering flesh, to render the sufferings salutary and saving." Such is the redemption view of the mysterious yet actual union of the two natures of Christ. Apart from this union there could have been no redemption- the manhood of our Lord was the seat of atoning suffering, His Godhead the fountain of atoning merit. As man He sorrowed, as God He bore the man triumphantly through the sorrow, "and when He had by Himself purged our sins, sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high."
Oh yes! our Lord was indeed a "Man of sorrows." Sorrow was His distinctive badge. He was "acquainted with grief;" or, as the Hebrew expresses it, He was known of grief. Sorrow and grief were His most familiar acquaintances, His constant companions. With them He was in unceasing converse. From His lowly cradle of the manger, to His ignominious death-bed of the cross, He ate of the bread of adversity and drank of the water of affliction, a full cup being wrung out to Him. And when we count the forms of sorrow through which He passed, the sources from where His afflictions flowed, the blood-thirsty persecution of man, the fiery assault of Satan, the treachery of false and the fickleness of true disciples, the insults and cruelty of His slayers; and, chief of all, the exceeding sorrow and blood-sweat of the garden, the mental anguish springing from the Divine wrath and justice, and the hidings of His Father's face in infinite displeasure for the sins of the people for whom He was Surety, oh, well might we put into His groaning lips the dolorous cry of Jerusalem, "Is it nothing to you all, all you that pass by? behold, and see if there be any sorrow like My sorrow with which the Lord has afflicted Me in the day of His fierce anger." Oh, great and wondrous love of God, that for us He should so smite, so put to grief the Son of His love. Herein is love, "not that we loved God, but that He loved us, and gave His Son to be a propitiation for our sins."
"Angels here may gaze and wonder
What the Lord of love could mean
When that heart was torn asunder,
Never once defiled by sin."
Let us briefly notice a few of THE SPECIAL BLESSINGS which flow from a believing view of Christ's sorrow.
And first, from this deep sorrow of our Lord springs our deepest joy. We see in His sorrow the putting away of all our sin. And is not this a matter of joy unspeakable? To be assured that our transgression is forgiven, our sin is covered; that the baptism of grief through which His holy soul passed- as no other baptism could- has "blotted out, as a thick cloud, our transgressions, and as a cloud our sins," surely this should make us patient in suffering, joyful in tribulation, and cause us to bear cheerfully every cross, and to gird ourselves willingly to every service our Lord- the Man of sorrows, sees fit to impose.
Alas! how few joyful believers there are, how few make the desert ring with their songs of gladness, and wake the echoes of praise in the strange land, simply because they deal so seldom and so faintly with the sorrow of the Savior's cross. Believer in Christ, do you know that that sorrow of your Lord has buried forever in its fathomless depths all your sins, past, present, and to come; and from His unknown agony, from His inconceivable grief, from His bitterest sorrow, you may extract the material of your richest joy, and wake the notes of your sweetest harmonies, marching to conflict and to conquest to the music of the victor's song. Oh, be joyful then! The joy of the Lord will strengthen your soul, your sacrifice of praise will glorify His name. You bring no honor to your Lord by indulging in a mournful and desponding spirit, in a doubting and fearful mind. His sovereign grace has burst your chains, unloosed your yoke, and brought your soul out of prison, conferring upon you a dignity of which the angels cannot boast, even the divine adoption of a child; and you ought to go forth to service and to suffering with a jubilant and gladsome spirit. Up, then, you pardoned and justified adopted saints, from the ashes and shadows in which you too fondly love to grope, and pluck your harp from its willow, wake its wires to the highest praise of redeeming grace and dying love, for your home is in heaven. There is everything in Jesus to make you a happy and a joyful Christian; everything that the renewed soul requires, carrying within him a depraved and treacherous heart, bearing about a body of sin and death, and passing through an ungodly, ensnaring world- a world of unmixed pollution, ceaseless trial, and heartless disappointment.
We see also in this title of our Lord a shadowing forth of that assimilation to Him, of which all His saints must more or less partake. The members must be conformed to their divine Head, the brethren to their elder Brother. This was the ardent desire and prayer of the holy apostle, "I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death." Was our Lord a Man of sorrows? There must be no difference between us and Him. Shall He be a Man
of grief, and we men of pleasure? Shall He wear the thorn, and we only the rose? Shall the world, that frowned upon Him, smile upon us? Shall He endure its curse, and we receive its blessing? He its sting, and we its caress? Oh, no! We, too, must be acquainted with grief. We must be prepared to suffer with Christ, and to suffer for Christ. We must bear His cross, confess His name, and follow hard after Him, though the path we tread be rough and flinty. Shame for Him must not confound its; toil for Him must not weary us; suffering for Him must not daunt us; loss for Him Must not make us afraid. "Unto you it is given, on the behalf of Christ, not only to believe on Him, but also to suffer for His sake."
Oh, be you assured of this, that the discipline of sorrow through which you are now passing, is an evidence of your oneness with Christ, a seal of your adoption, and fitting of your soul for glory! Oh, seek rather its sanctification than its soothing; desire its fruit more than its removal! Let the sweet thought reconcile you to sorrow, and cheer you on in its lonely path, that Christ is your fellow-sufferer, and the cup you now drink, He drank, leaving the sweetness of His lips in undying fragrance upon its brim.
This conducts us to a third blessing- the compassion and love which flow from Christ's sorrows. As a Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief, He was educated for the suffering Church. He could not possibly have been a sympathizing High Priest, had He not been taught and trained in the school of sorrow: "Though He were a Son, yet learned He obedience by the things which Ne suffered." What an ocean of sympathy is here! It is quite possible to overtask the sympathy even of God's saints. Human compassion must necessarily have its limit; and even where it exists in its truest and tenderest form, it may not have been trained in our peculiar school, nor have been molded to our especial form of sorrow. But Christ was a Man of sorrows- not of one sorrow, but of many. Is there one we have of which He did not partake? Is there one grief that shades our spirit that did not cast a deeper shadow upon His? His cup of woe was composed of many ingredients, His crown bristled with many thorns, His back was lacerated with many stripes, His body was pierced with many wounds, many sorrows bound their iron bands around His smitten, broken heart. Thus is He prepared to share, and in sharing to soothe, and in soothing to bury, in His deepest sympathy, the many and varied afflictions of His people.
Yes, our Lord was "acquainted with grief." Expressive words! He knew it not merely from report, neither from observation, but from personal and intimate experience. And He is acquainted, beloved, with yours. "I know their sorrows," said God, when He looked down, and came down, from heaven, to deliver His people from the iron furnace of Egypt. Christ is intimately acquainted with your personal sorrow, has tasted your bereaved grief, knows your domestic trials, and has His eyes of paternal love and justice upon all the unholy accusations by which your "enemies, persecutors, and slanderers," falsely and cruelly assail you. Let this comfort your spirit and strengthen your hands in God. Acquaint yourself with Him in this, and sweet will be your peace.
This subject is not without its solemn relation to the unconverted. If such was the sorrow of the sinless One, bearing, as He did, the sins of His Church, what will be the sorrow, the unmitigated, endless sorrow of the soul passing into eternity hearing its own sins? The thought is overwhelming! All sin brings sorrow, either in this life or in the life that is to come. "Some men's sins are open beforehand, going before to judgment"- these are the sins of God's people, which have been repented of, confessed, and forgiven, having been judged and condemned in the person of Christ, their Surety- "and some men they follow after"- these are the sins of the unrepentant, unbelieving, and unpardoned, which follow them into eternity, and will confront them as witnesses in the great day of judgment, when the secrets of all hearts will be revealed. And then follows the remorse and anguish, the undying worm, and the unquenchable fire; even that "cup that is full mixture, the dregs thereof all the wicked of the earth shall wring out, and drink them."
O you trifler, and you scorner, and you procrastinator, and you despiser and rejecter of the "Man of Sorrows," you may laugh now, but the days of your sorrow are to come. Better, infinitely better, be a mourner for sin all your days, and go weeping tears of Godly sorrow to your grave, than be merry now with a carnal, worldly, sinful merriment, and hereafter gnaw your chains in bitter and eternal anguish! O Lord, give me a place among Your true mourners! Let me lament with them, sorrow with them, with them wet my couch with tears for sin, and go to my dying bed abhorring myself, and repenting in dust and ashes, crying, "God be merciful to me a sinner," than enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season, but to pass, when that joy is fled, to all the pangs and horrors of the "second death." Oh, what will these pangs and horrors be, to quench which not one drop of water will be given!
But has the Lord, my reader, given you a broken heart for sin? Are you a mourner at His feet, a weeper at the cross? Then, happy are you. Jesus has pronounced you so. "Blessed," happy, "are the poor in Spirit; blessed are those who mourn." And God has said, "I dwell in the high and holy place; with him, also, that is of a contrite and humble spirit, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones." Bring your broken heart to the "Man of sorrows;" for it is His office to "preach good tidings unto the meek, to bind up the broken-hearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives." The balsam that exuded from His heart of sorrow, that distilled from His pierced side, will heal your wounded spirit, bind up your broken heart, and turn your sorrow into joy, your tears into dancing.
If hell is a place of endless sorrow, heaven is a place of eternal joy. How glorious the description of the New Jerusalem saints! "God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain; for the former things are passed away." Look forward, then, you sorrowing ones, to that bright and holy world, where sin shall no more taint you, and temptation no more assail you, and sorrow no more shade you, and suffering no more distress you, and where "the days of your mourning shall be ended."
The last view we venture to present of the atoning sorrow of our Lord is that which constitutes the crowning truth of all- His finished work. When Jesus cried, "It is finished," all His sorrow was over- all His grief was at an end; for then He "made an end of sin, and brought in a new and everlasting righteousness." It is on the ground of His finished work the soul that believes in Him sees the entire putting away of all his transgressions, and complete acceptance of his person before God. "It Is Finished!" Wondrous words! Glorious declaration! The law is honored- justice is satisfied- the debt is paid; and now, whoever believes in Jesus shall not come into condemnation, but has everlasting life! Child of God! see your finished salvation! Mourning soul! dry your tears; look to Jesus and be saved. Sin-bound laboring sinner! cast your heavy burden and your deadly doings down at the foot of the Cross; Atonement is all made, the work is all done; trust in Jesus, and you shall find rest unto your soul. Oh, blessed announcement of the Gospel, that you have nothing to do but believe! That, freer than the water springing from the fount, freer than the light flowing from the sun- freer than the air laden with earth's scents, is the finished salvation Christ has provided for poor, lost sinners. How clear the teaching of God's word touching this precious truth! "Being justified freely by His grace, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God has set forth to be a propitiation through faith in His blood." Resting in this finished salvation of Christ, the vilest sinner shall be saved, the feeblest saint shall not be lost. They only will fail of the glorious blessings of this great charter of salvation- the finished work of Christ- who, refusing to accept it as it is, presumptuously dare to supplement it by their own work of human merit. Attempt, if you will, to add luster to the sun, beauty to the landscape, value to the pearl- but attempt not the profane, the criminal act, of adding anything of your own merit, worthiness, or doing, to the Finished Work of the Lord Jesus Christ. Despise and reject His finished salvation, and though you were the most scrupulously moral, and strictly religious, and profusely charitable, dying, robed in this your own righteousness, you will be lost forever. But, believe in Christ, accept in faith His finished work, and although you were the vilest sinner and the feeblest saint, you shall be forever saved.
"It is finished!"- You have said it,
What more can sinners need
It is finished; on this truth we lean
This glorious truth we plead.
It is finished!"- You have made an end
Of sin by Your own blood,
And in Your perfect righteousness
Does bring us unto God.
"It is finished!"- By Your Spirit's power
This precious truth apply,
To the hearts and consciences of those
Who still in darkness lie.
That all Your own beloved ones,
Rejoicingly be brought,
Into the glorious liberty
Your finished work has wrought.
"It is finished!"- Oh, we thank You, Lord,
And seek Your promised grace,
Sufficient for our every need,
Until we behold Your face.
Then, Jesus, fully satisfied,
Our longing hearts shall be,
When in Your likeness we awake,
And all Your glory see.