Thursday, March 28, 2013

Let Us Not Forget The Substitute

Sin with many streams had been flowing down the hills of time and forming by their dread accumulation one vast and fathomless lake. Into this the sinner’s substitute must be plunged. He had a baptism to be baptized with and He must endure it, or all His chosen must perish forever. That was a day of vengeance when all the waves and billows of divine wrath went over His innocent head.

Came at length the dreadful night; 
Vengeance with its iron rod 
Stood, and with collected might 
Bruised the harmless Lamb of God. 
See, my soul, thy Savior see, 
Prostrate in Gethsemane!

From His blessed person there distilled a bloody sweat, for His soul was exceedingly sorrowful even unto death. All through the night with scourgings and buffetings and spittings of cruel men, He was tortured and abused; He was rejected, despised, maltreated, and pierced in His inmost soul by man’s scorn and cruelty. Then in the morning He was taken out to be crucified, for nothing could suffice short of His death. The outward sorrows of crucifixion ye know, but the inward griefs ye do not know, for what our Lord endured was beyond what any mortal man could have borne. The infinity of the Godhead aided the manhood, and I doubt not Hart was right in saying that He

Bore all Incarnate God could bear 
With strength enough but none to spare. 

 It was an awful “day of vengeance of our God,” for the voice cried aloud, “Awake, O sword, against my shepherd, against the man that is my fellow, saith the Lord of hosts.” The doctrine that justice was executed upon our great Substitute is the most important that was ever propounded in the hearing of men; it is the sum and substance of the whole gospel, and I fear that the church which rejects it is no longer a church of Christ.

From a sermon by Charles Haddon Spurgeon entitled "Proclamation Of Acceptance And Vengeance," delivered August 12, 1877. Image by mindfulness on Flickr under Creative Commons License.

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