‘Behold, I am pressed under you, as a cart is pressed that is full of sheaves.’ Amos 2:13
Suggested Further Reading: Isaiah 53:1–12
See him; like a cart pressed down with sheaves he goes through the streets of Jerusalem. Well may you weep, daughters of Jerusalem, though he bids you dry your tears; they hoot him as he walks along bowed beneath the load of his own cross which was the emblem of your sin and mine. They have brought him to Golgotha. They throw him on his back, they stretch out his hands and his feet. The accursed iron penetrates the tenderest part of his body, where most the nerves do congregate. They lift up the cross. O bleeding Saviour, thy time of woe has come! They dash it into the socket with rough hands; the nails are tearing through his hands and feet. He hangs in extremity, for God has forsaken him; his enemies persecute and take him, for there is none to deliver him. They mock his nakedness; they point at his agonies. They look and stare upon him with ribald jests; they insult his griefs, and make puns upon his prayers. He is now indeed a worm and no man, crushed till you can think scarcely that there is divinity within. The fever gets hold upon him. His tongue is dried up like a potsherd, and he cries, ‘I thirst!’ Vinegar is all they yield him; the sun refuses to shine, and the thick midnight darkness of that awful mid-day is a fitting emblem of the tenfold midnight of his soul. Out of that thick horror he cries ‘My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?’ Then, indeed, was he pressed down! O there was never sorrow like unto his sorrow. All human griefs found a reservoir in his heart, and all the punishment of human guilt spent itself upon his body and his soul. O shall sin ever be a trifle to us? Shall I ever laugh at that which made him groan?
For meditation: Believers still have problems with sin as a weight impeding progress in the Christian life (Hebrews 12:1), but our struggle with sin on earth has its limits (Hebrews 12:4); the Lord Jesus Christ went beyond those limits and was crushed by our sin to save all who trust in him from being crushed by it eternally (Hebrews 12:2–3; 1 Peter 2:24).
Sermon no. 466
24 August (1862)