Friday, November 4, 2011

He stooped to lift us up

To lift us up he stooped. He made the heavens, and yet he lay in Bethlehem’s manger. He hung the stars in their places, and laid the beams of the universe, and yet he became a carpenter’s son, giving up all his rank and dignity for love’s dear sake; and then when he grew up he consented to be the servant of servants, and made himself of no reputation. He took the lowest place; “he was despised and rejected of men;” he gave up all ease and comfort, for he had not where to lay his head; he gave up all health of body, for he bore our sickness, and he bared his back to the smiters that the chastisement of our peace might fall upon him; he gave up the last rag he had, for they took his own raiment from him, and upon his vesture did they cast lots; he gave up for the world all esteem.

They called him a blasphemer. Reproach broke his heart, but he gave that heart up for us; he gave his body to the nails, and his heart to the spear, and he could do no more. When at last he gave his life, “It is finished,” said he; and they took down his mangled body from the tree and laid it in the grave. Self-sacrifice had reached its climax; further he could not go; but he could not have saved us if he had stopped short of that. So lost, so utterly lost we were, that without this extreme self-devotion — till it could be said, "He saved others; himself he could not save" — without this self-devotion, I say, he could not have saved so much as one of us.

From a sermon by Charles Haddon Spurgeon entitled "The Sad Plight And Sure Relief." Image by Pieterjan Vandaele on Flickr under Creative Commons License.

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