And WHY, dear Savior — tell me why?
(James Smith "Redeeming Love!" 1861)
"He gave Himself for us — that He might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto Himself a peculiar people, zealous for good works." Titus 2:14
"HE gave Himself for us." Note the contrast between the Giver — and those for whom He gave Himself.
The Giver is He who was . . .
the only begotten Son of God,
the author of creation,
the sustainer of the universe,
the brightness of divine glory,
the source and end of all things!
He who was proclaimed by the prophet as "the mighty God, the everlasting Father, and the Prince of Peace."
He who is declared by the apostle to be "God over all — blessed for evermore!"
"He gave Himself for US." For US — who at the best are mere creatures, between whom and our Creator, there can be no comparison. But it was not for us as mere creatures — but for us as base, vile, insignificant, and totally depraved creatures! We had debased ourselves, even unto Hell. Our nature could not be worse, for "the human heart is the most deceitful of all things — and desperately wicked!"
The most exalted, glorious, and holy being in the universe — gave Himself for the most vile, polluted, and degraded of His creatures!
O how astonishing!
But He volunteered on our behalf, without any solicitation, offering to become . . .
our Substitute — to fulfill the law in our stead;
our Sacrifice — to make a full atonement for our sins; and
our Ransomer — to pay the satisfactory price for our redemption.
He engaged to bear the desert of all our sins in His own body — to suffer all that the inflexible justice of God could inflict on our Surety — and so put away our sins forever, by the sacrifice of Himself. He gave . . .
His person — for our persons;
His blood — as our ransom price;
and His life — for our lives!
He gave His entire self, doing and suffering all that was necessary to secure our release from sin's curse, and our everlasting salvation.
O amazing grace of a gracious Savior!
He gave Himself — that He might justly redeem, ransom, or deliver us — from the guilt, power, and penal consequences of sin.
He gave Himself — to expiate the guilt, to destroy the power, and secure us against the eternal desert of our transgressions.
He gave Himself to purify unto Himself, by fully expiating their sins — a peculiar people:
a people purchased — to be peculiarly His own;
a people sanctified, separated from all others — to be set apart for Himself;
a people to be His own subjects — as the King of Zion;
a people to be His own soldiers — as the Captain of our salvation;
a people to be His own servants — as the Lord of the house;
a people to be His own children — as the everlasting Father!
"He gave Himself!" The love of Jesus is unparalleled. Out of pure love to us who had no love to Him, nor ever would have had — but for His first loving us! He gave, not only His time, His labor, His wealth — but Himself! He gave His entire person as the God-man, the incarnate Jehovah!
"He gave Himself!" This was more than as if He had given a thousand worlds — for these He could create with a word!
"He gave Himself," and not merely to live for us, or labor for us — but even to die for us!
"He gave Himself," and not even to die some easy and honorable death — but the most painful, shameful death, that man ever invented, or creature ever suffered!
O wondrous love!
And WHY, dear Savior — tell me why,
You thus would suffer, bleed and die?
What mighty motive could Thee move,
The motive's plain — 'twas all for love!
For love of whom? Of sinners base,
A hardened herd, a rebel race!
That mocked and trampled on Thy blood,
And trifled with the wounds of God!
They nailed Him to the accursed tree;
They did, my brethren — and so did we!
The soldier pierced His side, 'tis true;
But we have pierced Him through and through!
O Jesus, never, never was there love like yours!