Wednesday, April 15, 2009

The awful sacrifice

There stands the just and holy God, willing to forgive if it can be done without injury to the immutable principles of right. There sits the arbitrator, looking with eyes of love upon the poor, weeping, trembling sinner, and anxious to devise a plan to save him, but conscious that that plan must not infringe upon divine justice; for it were a worse cruelty to injure divine perfections than it were to destroy the whole human race. The arbitrator, therefore, after pausing awhile, puts it thus: “I am anxious that these two should be brought together; I love them both: I cannot, on the one hand, recommend that my Father should stain his honor; I cannot, on the other hand, endure that this sinner should be cast eternally into hell; I will decide the case, and it shall be thus: I will pay my Father’s justice all it craves; I pledge myself that in the fullness of time I will suffer in my own proper person all that the weeping, trembling sinner ought to have suffered. My Father, wilt thou stand to this?” The eternal God accepts the awful sacrifice!

What say you, sinner, what say you? Why, methinks you cannot have two opinions. If you are sane - and may God make you sane - you will melt with wonder. You will say, “I could not have thought this! I never called in a daysman [that is, an arbitrator] with an expectation of this! I have sinned, and he declares that he will suffer; I am guilty, and he says that he will be punished for me!”

From a sermon entitled "The Great Arbitration Case." Image by bbjee under Creative Commons License.

No comments: