“But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:8
Suggested Further Reading: Hebrews 2:5-9
I could almost conceive a parliament in heaven. The angels are assembled; the question is proposed to them: “Cherubim and seraphim, cohorts of the glorified, ye spirits that like flames of fire, at my bidding fly, ye happy beings, whom I have created for my honour! Here is a question which I condescend to offer for your consideration: Man has sinned; there is no way for his pardon but by someone suffering and paying blood for blood. Who shall it be?” I can conceive that there was silence throughout the great assembly. Gabriel spoke not: he would have stretched his wings and flapped the heavens in a moment, if the deed had been possible; but he felt that he could never bear the guilt of a world upon his shoulders, and, therefore, still he sat. And there the mightiest of the mighty, those who could shake a world if God should will it, sat still, because they felt all powerless to accomplish redemption. I do not conceive that one of them would have ventured to hope that God himself would assume flesh and die. I do not think it could have entered even into angelic thought to conceive that the mighty Maker of the skies should bow his awful head and sink into a grave. I cannot imagine that the brightest and most seraphic of these glorified ones would for an instant have suffered such a thought to abide with him. And when the Son of God, rising from his throne, spoke to them and said, “Principalities and powers! I will become flesh, I will veil this Godhead of mine in robes of mortal clay, I will die!” I think I see the angels for once astonished.
For meditation: Man had sinned; man must suffer. Only a real, yet sinless man could take his place; God the Son alone qualified for the task (Romans 8:3).
Sermon no. 104
23 November (1856)