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Sermon #149 — Romans Series
Title: Example and Expiation
Text: Romans 15:3
Subject: Living for Christ — Living for Others
Date: Sunday Morning — July 1, 2018
Reading: Psalm 69:1-36
Christ on the Cross
(Psalm 69:1-36) Save me, O God; for the waters are come in unto my soul. (2) I sink in deep mire, where there is no standing: I am come into deep waters, where the floods overflow me. (3) I am weary of my crying: my throat is dried: mine eyes fail while I wait for my God. (4) They that hate me without a cause are more than the hairs of mine head: they that would destroy me, being mine enemies wrongfully, are mighty: then I restored that which I took not away. (5) O God, thou knowest my foolishness; and my sins are not hid from thee.
Praying for His Elect
(6) Let not them that wait on thee, O Lord GOD of hosts, be ashamed for my sake: let not those that seek thee be confounded for my sake, O God of Israel. (7) Because for thy sake I have borne reproach; shame hath covered my face. (8) I am become a stranger unto my brethren, and an alien unto my motherŐs children. (9) For the zeal of thine house hath eaten me up; and the reproaches of them that reproached thee are fallen upon me. (10) When I wept, and chastened my soul with fasting, that was to my reproach. (11) I made sackcloth also my garment; and I became a proverb to them. (12) They that sit in the gate speak against me; and I was the song of the drunkards.
Praying for Himself
(13) But as for me, my prayer is unto thee, O LORD, in an acceptable time: O God, in the multitude of thy mercy hear me, in the truth of thy salvation. (14) Deliver me out of the mire, and let me not sink: let me be delivered from them that hate me, and out of the deep waters. (15) Let not the waterflood overflow me, neither let the deep swallow me up, and let not the pit shut her mouth upon me.
(16) Hear me, O LORD; for thy lovingkindness is good: turn unto me according to the multitude of thy tender mercies. (17) And hide not thy face from thy servant; for I am in trouble: hear me speedily. (18) Draw nigh unto my soul, and redeem it: deliver me because of mine enemies.
(19) Thou hast known my reproach, and my shame, and my dishonour: mine adversaries are all before thee. (20) Reproach hath broken my heart; and I am full of heaviness: and I looked for some to take pity, but there was none; and for comforters, but I found none. (21) They gave me also gall for my meat; and in my thirst they gave me vinegar to drink.
Calling for Judgment
(22) Let their table become a snare before them: and that which should have been for their welfare, let it become a trap. (23) Let their eyes be darkened, that they see not; and make their loins continually to shake. (24) Pour out thine indignation upon them, and let thy wrathful anger take hold of them. (25) Let their habitation be desolate; and let none dwell in their tents. (26) For they persecute him whom thou hast smitten; and they talk to the grief of those whom thou hast wounded. (27) Add iniquity unto their iniquity: and let them not come into thy righteousness. (28) Let them be blotted out of the book of the living, and not be written with the righteous.
Anticipating His Exaltation
(29) But I am poor and sorrowful: let thy salvation, O God, set me up on high. (30) I will praise the name of God with a song, and will magnify him with thanksgiving. (31) This also shall please the LORD better than an ox or bullock that hath horns and hoofs.
SoulŐs Travail Satisfied
(32) The humble shall see this, and be glad: and your heart shall live that seek God. (33) For the LORD heareth the poor, and despiseth not his prisoners.
(34) Let the heaven and earth praise him, the seas, and everything that moveth therein. (35) For God will save Zion, and will build the cities of Judah: that they may dwell there, and have it in possession. (36) The seed also of his servants shall inherit it: and they that love his name shall dwell therein.
Example and Expiation — That is the title of my message. — Example and Expiation. My text is Romans chapter 15, verse 3. LetŐs begin reading at verse 1.
(Romans 15:1-2) We then that are strong ought to bear the infirmities of the weak, and not to please ourselves. (2) Let every one of us please his neighbour for his good to edification.
In these opening verses of the chapter we are admonished not to please ourselves in life but others. We are not to live to gratify our own pleasure but for the benefit of others. Particularly, we who are born of God, all who trust the Lord Jesus Christ, every sinner saved by grace, washed in the blood, and born again by God the Holy Ghost, is to endeavor to live day by day for the benefit of his brothers and sisters in Christ. We are to govern our behavior (our speech and our conduct) with care for the edification of GodŐs elect.
That is a tall order. How can I do that? How can you do that? What motive, what incentive can be given to inspire such selfless behavior? — Read verse 3.
(Romans 15:3) For even Christ pleased not himself; but, as it is written, The reproaches of them that reproached thee fell on me.
Proposition: In Romans 15:3 God the Holy Ghost inspires and motivates us to live in selfless devotion to our God and his people by the example of our Lord Jesus Christ in his life and by his great sacrifice as our sin-atoning Substitute at Calvary.
Christ Our Example
First, Paul shows us that our Lord Jesus Christ is the example we are to follow in life.
It is common for preachers and religious leaders, when trying to get people to live right, to pull out the whip of the law and beat them into obedience.
á Threatening Punishment.
á Promising Reward.
That is always wrong. That is never the right course of action, because GodŐs elect are not under the law.
á We live by faith in Christ, not by the rule of law.
á We are inspired by gratitude for grace, not by the threat of punishment.
á We are motivated by the constraint of love (ŇThe love of Christ constraineth us!Ó), not by the promise of reward.
Believers are not under the law, period. — There is absolutely no sense in which GodŐs saints are under the yoke of bondage. We are not under the ceremonial laws of Israel. We are not under the civil laws given to Israel. We are not under the dietary laws given to Israel. We are not under the economic laws given to Israel. And we are not under the moral law, the Ten Commandments, that was given to Israel.
The law is not our rule of life! We have no commitment to the law, no curse from the law, and not constraint by the law (Romans 6:14-15).
(Romans 6:14-15) For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace. 15 What then? Shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid.
The law promises reward for obedience and threatens punishment for disobedience; but GodŐs saints are not mercenaries! We do not serve our God for gain or because of fear. GodŐs elect are not motivated by such things. Our service to God is motivated by love, grace, and faith. God requires and accepts heart obedience. He will not accept the mere outward, pretentious show of the hypocrite! — The Almighty sees through the PhariseeŐs show!
Do you hear the Scriptures? — ŇWe are not under the law, but under grace!Ó
(Romans 7:1-4) Know ye not, brethren, (for I speak to them that know the law,) how that the law hath dominion over a man as long as he liveth? 2 For the woman which hath an husband is bound by the law to [her] husband so long as he liveth; but if the husband be dead, she is loosed from the law of [her] husband. 3 So then if, while [her] husband liveth, she be married to another man, she shall be called an adulteress: but if her husband be dead, she is free from that law; so that she is no adulteress, though she be married to another man. 4 Wherefore, my brethren, ye also are become dead to the law by the body of Christ; that ye should be married to another, [even] to him who is raised from the dead, that we should bring forth fruit unto God. (Romans 7:1-4)
(Galatians 3:24-26) Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster [to bring us] unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith. 25 But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster. 26 For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus. (Galatians 3:24-26)
(Romans 10:1-4) Brethren, my heartŐs desire and prayer to God for Israel is, that they might be saved. 2 For I bear them record that they have a zeal of God, but not according to knowledge. 3 For they being ignorant of GodŐs righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God. 4 For Christ [is] the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth. (Romans 10:1-4)
(Galatians 5:1-4) Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage. 2 Behold, I Paul say unto you, that if ye be circumcised, Christ shall profit you nothing. 3 For I testify again to every man that is circumcised, that he is a debtor to do the whole law. 4 Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace. (Galatians 5:1-4)
(Colossians 2:14-16) Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross; 15 [And] having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it. 16 Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath [days]. (Colossians 2:14-16)
The reason the law was given was to point us to Christ, who alone obeyed its requirements and satisfied its justice as the sinnerŐs Substitute! — It serves no other purpose! — I defy anyone to find a solitary text of Scripture in the New Testament that uses the law to motivate, inspire, regulate, or even guide the believer. Believers are motivated by love, inspired by gratitude, regulated by grace, and guided by the Holy Spirit. The whole Word of God, the complete revelation of his will, is our law.
Here is a better way. — Our dear Savior has left us an example to follow. Follow it in all things. O Spirit of God, give me grace day by day to follow my RedeemerŐs example, to walk in his steps. — Let me just call your attention to two points of exemplary conduct set before us by our Savior, in which we should follow his example.
1. In his life of obedience as our Representative our Lord Jesus Christ left us an example of service, not pleasing himself but others. — Our text reads, ŇFor even Christ pleased not himself!Ó
He sought not his own ease, pleasure, profit, honor, and glory, but to do his FatherŐs will and work (John 4:34).
(John 4:34) Jesus saith unto them, My meat is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work.
Our Lord Jesus always did the things which pleased his Father. In his obedience, sufferings, and death, he sought not his own but his FatherŐs glory.
All that he did and suffered was done, not for himself, but for his elect! — He came not to be ministered unto but to minister, not to be served but to serve (Matthew 20:28).
á His incarnation was for us!
á His obedience was for us!
á His death was for us!
After our Lord Jesus washed his disciplesŐ feet he specifically tells us that in doing so he left us an example to follow (John 13:15-17).
(John 13:15-17) For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you. (16) Verily, verily, I say unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord; neither he that is sent greater than he that sent him. (17) If ye know these things, happy are ye if ye do them.
Here our Savior gives us a blessed example of genuine humility and love. True humility and love willingly condescends to do whatever is needed to meet the needs of those who are the objects of our love.
I find it highly instructive to see our Savor washing JudasŐ feet and then breaking bread with the betrayer at the first communion table of the New Testament church. He knew the betrayerŐs heart and his wicked deeds. Yet, he washed his feet and broke bread with him. — Shall we do otherwise?
á It is ours to do good even to our enemies.
á And it is never our business to police the LordŐs Table or in any way try to separate goats from sheep in his kingdom.
Though it is apparent that our Savior washed JudasŐ feet too, the message is in what he did for his disciples. The Son of God stooped to wash his disciplesŐ feet, and he still does! When may it be said that Christ stoops to wash his disciplesŐ feet in a spiritual sense?
This same, self-denying, loving service is our responsibility to one another in this world (vv. 14-15). Our SaviorŐs example is our rule of life (1 John 3:16-17). And all who follow our LordŐs example find happiness and satisfaction in doing so. — ŇIf ye know these things, happy are ye if ye do themÓ (John 13:17). Nothing brings greater joy to devoted saints than the privilege and grace of obedience to Christ and usefulness to his people!
2. The Apostle Peter was inspired by the Spirit of God to tell us that our Savior also gave us an example to follow in the things that he suffered (1 Peter 2:18-25).
(1 Peter 2:18-25) Servants, be subject to your masters with all fear; not only to the good and gentle, but also to the froward. (19) For this is thankworthy, if a man for conscience toward God endure grief, suffering wrongfully. (20) For what glory is it, if, when ye be buffeted for your faults, ye shall take it patiently? But if, when ye do well, and suffer for it, ye take it patiently, this is acceptable with God. (21) For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps: (22) Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth: (23) Who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed himself to him that judgeth righteously: (24) Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed. (25) For ye were as sheep going astray; but are now returned unto the Shepherd and Bishop of your souls.
All who would live in this world for the glory of God need only to follow the example of our Lord Jesus Christ. —— First, our text (Romans 15:3) speaks about our SaviorŐs example that we seek to follow. — ŇChrist pleased not himself!Ó ThenÉ
The Expiation of Sin
Second, it shows us how our blessed Savior accomplished the complete expiation of our sins by his sin-atoning sacrifice and death as our Substitute upon the cursed tree. — Here is the Lord Jesus Christ pleasing not himself to the utmost depth of humiliation and the utmost height of mercy, love, and grace. — ŇAs it is written, The reproaches of that reproached thee fell on me!Ó
Turn to Psalm 69. — The text from which Paul quotes here is Psalm 69:9. Psalm 69 is altogether Messianic. As we read the psalm, we read it aright only as we hear our SaviorŐs voice in every word. He is crying out to his Father and our Father, his God and our God, as our Substitute, bearing our sins, and suffering the judgment of God for our sins. Five times in this psalm he speaks of the reproach he endured.
á He bore the reproach of sinners who reproached God in his life.
á He bore the reproach of the wicked in his death.
á And he bore the reproach of our sin and guilt upon the cursed tree!
Hear the cries of the reproached Holy One who was made sin for us that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.
(Psalms 69:7) Because for thy sake I have borne reproach; shame hath covered my face.
(Psalms 69:9) For the zeal of thine house hath eaten me up; and the reproaches of them that reproached thee are fallen upon me.
(Psalm 69:10) When I wept, and chastened my soul with fasting, that was to my reproach.
(Psalms 69:19) Thou hast known my reproach, and my shame, and my dishonour: mine adversaries are all before thee.
(Psalm 69:20) Reproach hath broken my heart; and I am full of heaviness: and I looked for some to take pity, but there was none; and for comforters, but I found none.
Our Savior cried, — ŇReproach hath broken my heart; and I am full of heaviness!Ó Look at Psalm 22:14, where we see the Lord Jesus speaking of the same thing, as he was hanging on the cursed tree, bearing our sin in his own body.
(Psalms 22:14) I am poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint: my heart is like wax; it is melted in the midst of my bowels.
Three Places of Reproach
There are three places described in the New Testament in connection with the sufferings and death of our Lord Jesus Christ, three places directly connected with the reproach he bore for us: — Gethsemane, Gabbatha, and Golgotha.
The more time we spend in these three places with our Savior, the more familiar we are with them, the more we mediate upon them, the better. I want us to reverently follow our Lord Jesus through these three places of suffering and sorrow through which he passed as our Substitute, drinking the cup of woe for us — Gethsemane, Gabbatha, and Golgotha.
1st — LetŐs trace our LordŐs steps through dark Gethsemane the night before he laid down his life for us on CalvaryŐs cursed hill. In Gethsemane the Lord Jesus was reproached and assaulted by the prince of darkness, the dragon of hell, who is in a rage because Ňhe knoweth that he hath but a short time.Ó Gethsemane is one of those spots on earth that ought to be sacred in the memories of redeemed sinners because it was a place to which the Lord Jesus often resorted. In fact, he may have visited Gethsemane more often, during the days of his earthly ministry, than any other place (Matthew 26:36-46).
(Matthew 26:36-46) Then cometh Jesus with them unto a place called Gethsemane, and saith unto the disciples, Sit ye here, while I go and pray yonder. (37) And he took with him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, and began to be sorrowful and very heavy. (38) Then saith he unto them, My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death: tarry ye here, and watch with me. (39) And he went a little farther, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt. (40) And he cometh unto the disciples, and findeth them asleep, and saith unto Peter, What, could ye not watch with me one hour? (41) Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak. (42) he went away again the second time, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if this cup may not pass away from me, except I drink it, thy will be done. (43) And he came and found them asleep again: for their eyes were heavy. (44) And he left them, and went away again, and prayed the third time, saying the same words. (45) Then cometh he to his disciples, and saith unto them, Sleep on now, and take your rest: behold, the hour is at hand, and the Son of man is betrayed into the hands of sinners. (46) Rise, let us be going: behold, he is at hand that doth betray me.
Here, in dark Gethsemane, our Lord withdrew himself from Peter, James and John, about a stoneŐs cast, that he might be alone with his heavenly Father in prayer, as Satan and hell and all the powers of darkness assaulted his holy soul more furiously than he had ever been assaulted before. The Jews call Gethsemane, ŇGehennomin,Ó or ŇHell.Ó Here the Lord Jesus began to endure our hell, as our Substitute, bearing the weight of our sin and guilt. Here, in Gethsemane, the Lord of Glory encountered the powers of darkness for us.
á It was in a garden that the first Adam and his posterity were lost. — To the Garden of Gethsemane the Lord Jesus came to recover the forfeited inheritance, to restore that which he took not away.
á Did the devil begin in the Garden the ruin of man? — Then in Gethsemane the Son of God would begin to conquer hell for manŐs recovery.
á Did Satan, from the garden, bind and carry captive the first Adam? — It was in another garden, Gethsemane, that the second Adam must be bound and carried away to the cross, Ňthat he, by death, might destroy him that had the power of death — that is, the devil; and deliver them who, through fear of death, are all their lifetime subject to bondage.Ó
What was the cause of that great heaviness and sorrow that our Savior endured in Gethsemane? What was it that crushed our MasterŐs heart? What so greatly disturbed him?
á Not the Fear of Physical Pain.
á Not the Fear of Death.
á Not Even the Fear of Dying upon the Cross.
á Not Merely Paying Our Enormous Debt!
Anticipated Guilt — That which crushed our SaviorŐs heart was the anticipation of being made sin for us. The heavy, heavy burden which crushed his very soul was the enormous load of sin and guilt, the sin and guilt of all GodŐs elect which was about to made his.
Our SaviorŐs great sorrow was caused by his anticipation of being made sin for us. — ŇIt was,Ó wrote J.C. Ryle, Ňa sense of the unutterable weight of our sins and transgressions which were then specially laid upon him.Ó
á He who knew no sin was about to be made sin for us!
á He who is the only man (really) who knows what sin is, the only man who sees sin as God, was about to become sin!
á He who is the holy, harmless, undefiled Lamb of God, was about to be made sin and a curse for us.
á The holy Son of God was about to be forsaken by his Father.
Our Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, Ňbegan to be sore amazed,Ó to be in great consternation and astonishment — at the prospect of all the sins of his people coming upon him, — at the thought of shame and guilt, being made guilty before God, — at the black storm of wrath that was gathering thick over him, — at the sword of justice which was brandished against him, — and at the curses of the righteous law which, like thunderbolts of vengeance from heaven, were directed at him. No wonder verse 37 closes by telling us that, in consideration of these things, our Savior began Ňto be very heavy!Ó
Bloody Sweat — Luke is the only Gospel writer who was inspired to tell us about our SaviorŐs bloody sweat (22:44). Perhaps the Spirit of God used Luke alone to describe this for us because Luke was a medical doctor. I am not a doctor, but I have read that acute stress can cause a man to sweat blood.
(Luke 22:44) And being in an agony he prayed more earnestly: and his sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground.
O my soul, what acute stress the Lord Jesus experienced when he anticipated being made sin for me!
That which crushed our SaviorŐs very heart and soul was the very thing for which he came into the world: — THE PROSPECT OF WHAT HE MUST ENDURE AS OUR SUBSTITUTE.
Solemn Gethsemane! Hallowed spot! Here let us often come and meditate upon our dear SaviorŐs agony, the Lord Jesus, our blessed Surety groaning, yet conquering; pressed under all the hellish malice of the devil, yet triumphing over all; deserted by his disciples, sweating a bloody sweat, sustaining the wrath of offended justice, drinking the cup of trembling!
Is this Gethsemane? Oh, blessed Lamb of God, blessed paschal Lamb, here bring me often! Here show me your love that is better than wine. As your joy was here turned into sorrow, give me grace to see how the curse that I deserved, the curse you endured, was made to be the salvation of my soul. Hail sacred Gethsemane! But we must move on toÉ
2nd — Go to Gabbatha. Here we see the Lord Jesus suffering horrid reproach still (John 19:13-16). Here, at Gabbatha, the Son of God was reproached and assaulted by men, by sinners, by the words, the will, and the hands of foul, wicked men.
19:1-16) Then Pilate therefore took Jesus, and scourged him. (2) And
the soldiers platted a crown of thorns, and put it on his head, and
they put on him a purple robe, (3) And said, Hail, King of the Jews! And
they smote him with their hands. (4) Pilate therefore went forth again,
and saith unto them, Behold, I bring him forth to you, that ye may know that
I find no fault in him. (5) Then came Jesus forth, wearing the crown
of thorns, and the purple robe. And
Here, at Gabbatha, at PilateŐs judgment hall, the Lord Jesus, who was betrayed by his own familiar friend in Gethsemane, wasÉ
á Scourged (Matthew 27:26). — ŇThe plowers plowed upon my back: they made long their furrowsÓ (Psalm 129:3).
á Reproached and mocked by the soldiers, and crowned with thorns (Matthew 27:26-29).
á His beard plucked from his face (Isaiah 50:6).
á He was condemned to die (John 19:13-16).
In the midst of all the scathing reproaches they heaped upon the Lord Jesus, the chief priests themselves declared that the one they reproached was and is the Christ of God. They said, ŇWe have no king but CaesarÓ (John 19:15). By that very statement, they were saying, ŇThis is the Christ — Shiloh has comeÓ (Genesis 49:10).
(Genesis 49:10) The sceptre shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh come; and unto him shall the gathering of the people be.
But our LordŐs reproach, our reproach, the reproach of our guilt and sin, the reproach which broke his heart was not over yet. No, not nearly over! LetŐs follow him on toÉ
3rd — Upon GolgothaŐs horrid hill the Lord of Glory was made a reproach and assaulted by his Father. — Stay here, in the 19th chapter of JohnŐs Gospel. At Golgotha we see our SaviorŐs words in Psalm 31 fulfilled.
(Psalm 31:10-11) For my life is spent with grief, and my years with sighing: my strength faileth because of mine iniquity, and my bones are consumed. (11) I was a reproach among all mine enemies, but especially among my neighbours, and a fear to mine acquaintance: they that did see me without fled from me.
(John 19:17-18) And he bearing his cross went forth into a place called the place of a skull, which is called in the Hebrew Golgotha: (18) Where they crucified him, and two others with him, on either side one, and Jesus in the midst.
Here is the climax of our SaviorŐs obedience and the climax of his sorrow. Here he is, reproach breaking his heart, betrayed by Judas, denied by Peter, forsaken by all, crucified between two thieves, and finally, abandoned by his Father.
(Psalms 22:1-3) My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? Why art thou so far from helping me, and from the words of my roaring? (2) O my God, I cry in the daytime, but thou hearest not; and in the night season, and am not silent. (3) But thou art holy, O thou that inhabitest the praises of Israel.
(Psalms 22:6) But I am a worm, and no man; a reproach of men, and despised of the people.
(Psalms 22:14) I am poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint: my heart is like wax; it is melted in the midst of my bowels.
(Psalms 40:12) For innumerable evils have compassed me about: mine iniquities have taken hold upon me, so that I am not able to look up; they are more than the hairs of mine head: therefore my heart faileth me.
(Psalm 69:5) O God, thou knowest my foolishness (guiltiness); and my sins are not hid from thee.
(Lamentations 1:12) Is it nothing to you, all ye that pass by? behold, and see if there be any sorrow like unto my sorrow, which is done unto me, wherewith the LORD hath afflicted me in the day of his fierce anger.
Why this agony? Why this reproach? Why this broken heart? Why such a horrid, horrid death?
(Isaiah 52:13-15) Behold, my servant shall deal prudently, he shall be exalted and extolled, and be very high. (14) As many were astonied at thee; his visage was so marred more than any man, and his form more than the sons of men: (15) So shall he sprinkle many nations; the kings shall shut their mouths at him: for that which had not been told them shall they see; and that which they had not heard shall they consider.
(Isaiah 53:1-10) Who hath believed our report? and to whom is the arm of the LORD revealed? (2) For he shall grow up before him as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground: he hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him. (3) he is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not. (4) Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. (5) But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed. (6) All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all. (7) he was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth. (8) he was taken from prison and from judgment: and who shall declare his generation? for he was cut off out of the land of the living: for the transgression of my people was he stricken. (9) And he made his grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death; because he had done no violence, neither was any deceit in his mouth. (10) Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise him; he hath put him to grief: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in his hand.
(2 Corinthians 5:21) For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.
Our blessed Savior died with a broken heart; but, blessed be his name, he did not die of a broken heart. Yonder, hanging upon the cursed tree, is a man who is God our Savior, with a broken heart that would have been fatal to any other human, who died in complete triumph over sin, and death, and hell (Colossians 2:14-15; John 19:30).
(Colossians 2:14-15) Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross; (15) And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a show of them openly, triumphing over them in it.
(John 19:30) When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, It is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost.
(Romans 15:3) For even Christ pleased not himself; but, as it is written, The reproaches of them that reproached thee fell on me.
Why? — That he might make us the very righteousness of God by his saving grace!
(2 Corinthians 5:17-21) Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. (18) And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation; (19) To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation. (20) Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in ChristŐs stead, be ye reconciled to God. (21) For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.
Illustration: Dying Leper — ŇHelp me! Help me!Ó
In evil long I took delight,
Unawed by shame or fear,
Till a new object struck my sight,
And stopped my wild career.
I saw One hanging on a tree,
In agonies and blood,
Who fixed His languid eyes on me,
As near His cross I stood.
Sure, never till my latest breath
Can I forget that look;
It seemed to charge me with His death,
Though not a word He spoke.
My conscience felt and owned the guilt,
And plunged me in despair;
I saw my sins His blood had spilt,
And helped to nail Him there.
A second look He gave, which said,
ŇI freely all forgive;
This blood is for thy ransom paid;
I die that thou mayŐst live.Ó
Thus, while His death my sin displays
In all its blackest hue,
Such is the mystery of grace,
It seals my pardon too.
With pleasing grief and mournful joy
My spirit now is filled,
That I should such a life destroy,
Yet live by Him I killed.
Oh, can it be that on the tree
The Savior died for me?
My soul is thrilled, my heart is filled,
To think he died for me!