Thursday, November 10, 2011
Messiah was cut off
Now Messiah was to be cut off, but not for himself; he was to make his soul an offering for sin, he was to make his grave with the wicked, and lie in the heart of the earth. The blood of the covenant was to be shed, the paschal victim was to be slain, the Shepherd was to be smitten, the Lamb was to be led to the slaughter, and therefore only by the shedding of his blood could Jesus prove himself to be the Messiah so long foretold.
However pure the life he led, had he never died he could not have been the Savior appointed to bear the iniquity of us all. The blood was needed to complete the witness. The blood must now with the water, the suffering with the serving. The most pious example would not have proved him to be the divine Shepherd, if he had not laid down his life for the sheep. Take away the atonement, and Jesus is no more than any other prophet, the essential point of his mission is gone. It is evident that he who was to come was to finish transgression, and to make reconciliation for iniquity. Now, this could not be done except by an expiation, and as Jesus has made such an expiation by his own blood, we know him to be the Christ of God. His blood is the seal of his mission, the very life of his work.
From a sermon by Charles Haddon Spurgeon entitled "The Three Witnesses," delivered August 9, 1874. Image by blinking idiot on Flickr under Creative Commons License.