15 November 2006

Hallelujah, What a Saviour!

Jesus is a delightful Saviour. His righteous life and death on behalf of sinners, when considered, brings our hearts to realms of praise and gratitude like nothing else could ever do. C.H. Spurgeon reflects,

How often do we set forth the truth, which is ever fresh and delightful to believers, that Christ Jesus, on the tree, took all the sins of all who believe in him, — took them to himself literally, and carried them as though they had been his own, and suffered for those sins, upon the cross, all that ought to have been suffered by us on account of those sins, enduring that which his Father accepted as an equivalent for all the agony which ought to have been endured by us because of those iniquities.

We believe, brethren and sisters in Christ, in the literal substitution of Christ for his people. Christ stood in the sinner’s place, and suffered what was due to the sinner, even the curse of God, and the wrath of God. And now he has so suffered for sinners that those, for whom he died, can have no sin laid to their charge so as to involve them in punishment, since it is a maxim of all courts of justice that the law cannot first punish the substitute, and then punish those in whose place he stood. Every honest man admits that a debt, once paid, is settled for over; so, as Christ paid the debt that his people owed: to infinite justice, it is far ever blotted out, and our obligations to divine justice are obliterated.

This is the joy of joys, this is the doctrine, that makes the gospel to be God’s good news to guilty sinners, this is the glorious truth that sets the bells of heaven a-ringing with their loudest and their sweetest music, — that Christ has made the sin of his people to cease to be. Thus is fulfilled that ancient prophecy, “In those days, and in that time, saith the Lord, the iniquity of Israel shall be sought for, and there shall be none; and the sins of Judah, and they shall not be found: for I will pardon them whom I reserve.” The work of Messiah the Prince is “to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness;” and this work was fully accomplished when “this Man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God.”

O beloved, herein is bliss indeed for us if he did really die for us! your question and mine must be this, “Did Christ die for me?” To answer that, I must ask, Am I trusting in him?” If I am, then he did die for me and all my sins are gone because he was punished in my stead. My demerit was imputed to him, and he died to put it away; and, now, his merit is reckoned as my merit A wonderful transfer has been made by means of the death of Christ He has taken all the consequences of our guilt, and borne them all, and ended them for ever; so was he not indeed glorified in his death?

And thou, believer, mayest sing this sweet song, on earth and in heaven too, —

“In my Surety I am free,
His dear hands were pierced for me;
With his spotless vesture on
Holy as the Holy One.
“Oh the heights and depths of grace!
Shining with meridian blaze;
Here the sacred records show
Sinners black, but comely too.”
(MTP, 3024)

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