“Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.” Matthew 20:28
Suggested Further Reading: Matthew 27:45-54
See the Saviour’s limbs, how they quiver! Every bone has been put out of joint by the dashing of the cross into that socket! How he weeps! How he sighs! How he sobs! Indeed, how at last he shrieks in agony, “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” O sun, no wonder thou didst shut thine eye, and look no longer upon a deed so cruel! O rocks! no wonder that ye did melt and rend your hearts with sympathy, when your Creator died! Never man suffered as this man suffered. Even death itself relented, and many of those who had been in their graves arose and came into the city. This however, is but the outward. Believe me, brethren, the inward was far worse. What our Saviour suffered in his body was nothing, compared with what he endured in his soul. You cannot guess, and I cannot help you to guess, what he endured within. Suppose for one moment—to repeat a sentence I have often used—suppose a man who has passed into hell—suppose his eternal torment could all be brought into one hour; and then suppose it could be multiplied by the number of the saved, which is a number past all human enumeration. Can you now think what a vast aggregate of misery there would have been in the sufferings of God’s people, if they had been punished through all eternity? And recollect that Christ had to suffer an equivalent for all the hells of all his redeemed. I can never express that thought better than by using those oft-repeated words: it seemed as if hell was put into his cup; he seized it, and, “At one tremendous draught of love, he drank damnation dry.” So that there was nothing left of all the pangs and miseries of hell for his people ever to endure.
For meditation: The secret things of the sufferings of Christ belong to the Lord our God (Deuteronomy 29:29)—we could never begin to take them in. But God has given us a glimpse behind the scenes—meditate on the alternate torment and trust recorded in Psalm 22:1-21.
Sermon no. 181
28 February (1858)