Stricken and smitten and afflicted

(John Fawcett, "Christ Precious")

God has magnified His love, and set forth the riches of His grace towards us, in a manner which should effectually allure our hearts to Him. While we were enemies and rebels in open arms against Him—He was pleased to send his beloved Son to die for our sins—in order to redeem us from sin and hell. Christ came down from his Father's bosom—not to condemn the world of mankind, but to give His life and blood for our sakes; to make His soul an offering for our sins, to suffer inconceivable anguish and sorrow, and to die for us—that He might bring us back to God and happiness. He poured out His soul to death, to secure us from the deserved wrath and vengeance of God. He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities. The chastisement of our peace was upon Him, that we through His stripes might be healed. He was stricken and smitten and afflicted by God—that He might open the way for us to partake of Divine mercy, and render Himself a more engaging object of our love.

He is the beloved Son of God, the first and the everlasting favorite of heaven, the highest object of his Father's delight; He is the great peace-maker between God and sinners, the chief messenger of divine love to men. If He had not undertaken to make peace by His atoning sacrifice, we would have continued the children of wrath forever! He came to deliver us from our state of enmity and rebellion, to save us from sin and its dreadful consequences, from the curse of God's righteous law, and from everlasting destruction. His heart was pierced for the sake of sinful men. The messages of His love—He has written to us in lines of blood. This is that divine Savior who, though disregarded by many, is precious to those that believe. "Yes, He is very precious to you who believe!" 1 Peter 2:7

Love to the divine Redeemer is the distinguishing characteristic of a real Christian, and most indispensably requirement in order to our serving God acceptably in this world, and to our dwelling with Him in the next world. "If anyone does not love the Lord, that person is cursed!" 1 Corinthians 16:22