Thursday, February 11, 2010

A Savior, not merely an Example

On Calvary was it seen that the Son of Man saved others, though, through blessed incapacity of love, “himself he could not save.” When he was made to feel the wrath of God on account of sin, and pangs unknown were suffered by him as our substitute, when he was made to pass through the thick darkness and burning heat of divine wrath, then was he, according to Scripture, “the Savior of all men, specially of those that believe.”

Yes, it is on the tree that Christ is peculiarly a Savior. If he were nothing better than our exemplar [example], alas for us! We might be grateful for the example if we could imitate it, but without the pardon which spares us, and the grace which gives us power for holiness, the brightest example were a tantalising of our grief. To be shown what we ought to be, without having any method set before us by which we could attain to it, were to mock our misery. But Jesus first draws us up out of the horrible pit into which we were fallen, takes us out of the miry clay, by the efficacy of his stoning sacrifice, and then, having set our feet upon a rock by virtue of his merits, he himself leads the way onward to perfection, and so is a Savior both in life and in death.

From a sermon entitled "Jesus Christ Immutable," delivered January 3, 1869. Image by Yuval Haimovits under Creative Commons License.

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