by Patte Smith on Friday, April 15, 2011 at 11:06am
"I lay down My life"
Behold the love of God the Father in giving Christ to be broken for us. It is a love without parallel. It was a far greater expression of love in God to give His Son to die for us than if He had acquitted us of the debt without any satisfaction at all. If a subject is disloyal to his sovereign, it argues more love in the king to give his own son to die for that subject than to forgive him the wrong freely...
See... infinite Love displayed.
(1) Behold the love of God the Father in giving Christ to be broken for us. "God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son," John 3:16. It is a love without parallel. It was a far greater expression of love in God to give His Son to die for us than if He had voluntarily acquitted us of the debt without any satisfaction at all. If a subject is disloyal to his sovereign, it argues more love in the king to give his own son to die for that subject than to forgive him the wrong freely...
(2) That Christ should suffer death...Christ rent off His own flesh for us. Nay, that Christ should die as the greatest sinner, having the weight of all men's sins laid upon Him, here was most transporting love! It sets all the angels in heaven wondering.
(3) That Christ should die freely. "I lay down My life," John 10:17. There was no law to enjoin Him, no force to compel Him. It is called the offering of the body of Jesus, Hebrews 10:10. What could fasten Him to the Cross but the golden link of love!
(4) That Christ should die for such as we are. What are we? Not only vanity, but enmity! When we were fighting, He was dying. When He had the weapons in our hands, then He had the spear in His side, Romans 5:8.
(5) That Christ died for us when He could not expect to be at all bettered by us... We were in such a condition that we could neither merit Christ's love nor requite (repay) it. For Christ to die for us when we were at such a low ebb was the very quintessence of love. One man will extend kindness to another as long as he is able to requite (repay) him. But if he is fallen to decay, then love begins to slacken and cool. But when we were engulfed in misery and fallen to decay, when we had lost our beauty, stained our blood, and spent our portion, then Christ died for us. O amazing love, which may swallow up all our thoughts!
(6) That Christ should not repent of His sufferings. "He shall see the travail of His soul and shall be satisfied," Isaiah 53:11. It is a metaphor that alludes to a mother who, though she has suffered greatly, does not repent of it when she sees a child brought forth. So, though Christ had hard travail upon the Cross, yet He does not repent of it, but thinks all His sufferings well-bestowed. He shall be satisfied. The Hebrew word signifies such a satiating as a man has at some sweet repast or banquet.
(7) That Christ should rather die for us than the angels that fell. They were creatures of a more noble extraction and, in all probability, might have brought greater revenues of glory to God, Yet, that Christ should pass by those golden vessels and make us clods of earth into stars of glory, O the hyperbole of Christ's love!
(8) Yet another step of Christ's love, for like the waters of the sanctuary it rises higher: that Christ's love should not cease at the hour of death! We write in our letters, "Your friend till death." But Christ wrote in another style, "Your Friend after death!" Christ died once, but loves forever. He is not testifying His affection to us. He is making the mansions ready for us, John 14:2. He is interceding for us, Hebrews 7:25. He appears in the court as the Advocate for the client. When He has finished dying, yet He has not finished loving. What a stupendous love was here! Who can meditate upon this and not be in ecstasy? Well may the apostle call it "a love that passes knowledge," Ephesians 3:19. When you see Christ broken.. think of this love.
See, then, what dear and entire affections we should bear to Christ, who gives us His body and blood..If He had had anything to part with of more worth, He would have bestowed it upon us. O let Christ lie nearest our hearts! Let Him be our Tree of Life, and let us desire no other fruit. Let Him be our morning Star, and let us rejoice in no other light ...
Christ gives Himself to believers, and what can He give more?
Sin is to be abominated since... Sin is the birthplace of our sorrows and the grave of our comforts. But that which may most of all disfigure the face of sin and make it appear abominable is this: It crucified our Lord! It made Christ veil His glory and lose His blood.
If a woman saw the sword that killed her husband, how hateful would the sight of it be to her! Do we count that sin light which made Christ's soul heavy unto death? (Mark 14:34) Did He cry out, "My God, why hast Thou forsaken Me?" And shall not those sins be forsaken by us which made Christ Himself forsaken? O let us look upon sin with indignation! .. Sin has rent the white robe of Christ's flesh and died it a crimson color. Let us, then, seek to be avenged of our sins.
Did Christ suffer who "knew no sin," and do we think it strange to suffer who know nothing but sin? ... Was the Head crowned with thorns? Must we have our bracelets and diamonds when Christ had the spear and nails ...?
He was fastened to the Cross, so He may be fasted to our hearts.
SEVEN SUPERNATURAL VIRTUES IN CHRIST'S BLOOD
That we may set the higher value upon the blood of Christ. I shall show you seven rare supernatural virtues in it:
1. It is a reconciling blood. `You that were sometime alienated, and enemies, yet now hath He reconciled through death," Colossians 1:21. Christ's blood is the blood of atonement...Sin rent us off from God; Christ's blood cements us to God...If we had wept rivers of tears, this could never have appeased an angry Deity.
2. Christ's blood is a quickening blood. [quickening: to revive; restore life] "Whoso drinketh My blood, hath eternal life," John 6:54. It both begets life and prevents death. "The life of a thing is in the blood," Leviticus 17:11. Sure enough, the life of our soul is in the blood of Christ.
3. Christ's blood is a cleansing blood. "How much more shall the blood of Christ purge your conscience!" Hebrews 9:14. As the merit of Christ's blood pacifies God, so the virtue (power) of it purifies us...It washes a crimson sinner milk white. "The blood of Jesus cleanseth us from all our sin," I John 1:7. The Word of God is a looking glass to show us our spots, and the blood of Christ is a fountain to wash them away, Zechariah 13:1.
A SOLEMN WARNING:
But this blood will not wash if it is mingled with anything. If we go to mingle anything with Christ's blood, either the merits of saints or the prayers of angels, it will not wash. Let Christ's blood be pure and unmixed, and there is no spot but it will wash away. It purged out Noah's drunkenness and Lot's incest. Indeed, there is one spot so black that Christ's blood does not wash away, and that is the sin against the Holy Ghost. Not but that there is virtue enough in Christ's blood to wash it away, but he who has sinned that sin will not be washed. He condemns Christ's blood and tramples it under foot, Hebrews 10:29.
4. Christ's blood is a softening blood. There is nothing so hard but may be softened by this blood. It will soften a stone. Water will soften the earth, but it will not soften a stone; but Christ's blood...softens a heart of stone...The heart, which before was like a piece hewn out of a rock, being steeped in Christ's blood, becomes soft and the waters of repentance flow from it.
5. Christ's blood cools the heart... It burns in lust and passion. Christ's blood allays this heart and quenches the inflammation of sin. Second, it cools the heat of conscience...Christ's blood, being sprinkled upon the conscience, cools and pacifies it.
6. Christ's blood comforts the soul... Christ's blood will cheer the heart at such a time. It is best in affliction. It cures the trembling of the heart. A conscience sprinkled with Christ's blood can, like the nightingale, sing with a thorn at its breast. The blood of Christ can make a prison become a palace. It turned the martyr's flames into beds of roses. Christ's blood gives comfort ...
7. Christ's blood procures heaven. Israel passed through the Red Sea to Canaan. So, through the red sea of Christ's blood, we enter into the heavenly Canaan. "Having boldness therefore to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus," Hebrews 10:19. Our sins shut heaven; Christ's blood is the key which opens the gate of paradise for us...Well, then, may we prize the blood of Christ and, with Paul, determine to know nothing but Christ crucified, 1 Corinthians 2:2.
~ Thomas Watson
This, & much more, is why Watson concludes:
Rejecting gospel mercy is a sin of so deep a dye that God can do no less than punish it for a contempt.