Page images

upon him?

tears to him that was able to save him from death.Heb. v. 7. Let us view him in this bloody agony, and say, If these things be done in the green tree, what shall be done in the dry.Luke xxiii. 31. If even Christ himself was so depressed with sorrow and amazement, and the distress and anguish he endured were such, that, in his agony, the sweat ran from him like great drops of blood, when our iniquities were laid upon him, and it pleased the Father to bruise him and put him to grief, (Isai. liii. 6, 10,) how must the sinner then be filled with horror, and with what dreadful agonies of anguish and despair will he be overwhelmed, when he shall bear the burden of his own iniquities, and God shall pour out all his wrath

Behold how fearful a thing it is to fall into the hands of the living God !—Heb. x. 31.

DR. DODDRIDGE. Suffering, then, is the process, which God has appointed to operate perfection even in Christ; and O what rich and precious comfort is thus imparted to all those who suffer for righteousness sake, or according to the will of God.

6. Thus it is written, and thus it behoved Christ to suffer.”- 6 It became God, and it behoved Christ.” As to the sufferings themselves of Christ, however, we are left in comparative darkness. Our whole amount of knowledge is derived from a partial resemblance, from an imperfect analogy. We know by experience, somewhat concerning the depth of the sympathies of the human nature; but what shall unfold to us the extent of the capacities of the Divine? We may indeed attend the Divine Redeemer through His earthly pilgrimage: we may trace him in every stage as a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief: while His couch by night is- so to speak —watered with tears, and His path by day is tracked in blood. Nor is man his only, or even his deadliest or most formidable enemy. We may see Him led


into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil. Yea we may hear Him acknowledge for a season the permitted potency of the foe, “ This is your hour, and the power of darkness.” As to outward and visible sufferings, indeed, many disciples may have been as their Master, many servants as their Lord. But what shall we say of the bitterness of His inward and unseen sufferings ? It did occasionally find a force or vent: He did at times appear to be labouring with some indescribable, uncontrollable agony: He did at times give relief, or at least expression to the burden of His heart, “I have a baptism to be baptized with, and how am I straitened till it be accomplished !" “ Now is my soul troubled, and what shall I say? Father, save me from this hour ?” This sad utterance was wrung forth, however, while the trial was yet in distant prospect : as it comes nearer and more near, His soul becomes exceeding sorrowful unto death; the sweat stands upon his brow as large drops of blood; and his whole frame is convulsed and shattered as He prays, my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me.” And when it is demanded, “ Wherefore God thus ordained and thus disposed ?” we can answer only, “ Because it thus became God, and thus it behoved Christ.”


66 O

[graphic][ocr errors]
[graphic][merged small]

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. 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. Isai. liii. 3-8.


Now the chief priests and elders and all the council sought false witness against Jesus to put him to death, but found none; yea, though many false witnesses came, yet found they none. At the last came two false witnesses, and said, This fellow said, I am able to destroy the temple of God, and to build it in three days. And the high priest arose, and said unto him, Answerest thou nothing? What is it which these witness against thee? But Jesus held his peace. And the high priest answered, and said unto him, I adjure thee by the living God, that thou tell us whether thou be the Christ the Son of God. Jesus saith unto him, Thou hast said: nevertheless I say unto you, Hereafter shall ye see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven. Then the high priest rent his clothes, saying, He hath spoken blasphemy; what further need have we of witnesses ?— behold, now ye have heard his blasphemy. What think ye? They answered, and said, He is guilty of death.Matt.xxvi. 59-66.

And the whole multitude of them arose, and led him unto Pilate. And they began to accuse him, saying, We found this fellow perverting the nation, and forbidding to give tribute to Cæsar, saying, that he himself is Christ a King. And Pilate asked him, saying, Art thou the King of


the Jews? And he answered him, and said, Thou sayest it. Then said Pilate to the chief priests and to the people, I find no fault in this man. And they were the more fierce, saying, He stirreth up the people, teaching throughout all Jewry, beginning from Galilee to this place. When Pilate heard of Galilee, he asked whether the man were a Galilean. And as soon as he knew that he belonged unto Herod's jurisdiction, he sent him to Herod, who himself also was at Jerusalem at that time. And when Herod saw Jesus, he was exceeding glad; for he was desirous to see him of a long season, because he had heard many things of him: and he hoped to have seen some miracle done by him. Then he questioned with him in many words; but he answered him nothing. And the chief priests and scribes stood and vehemently accused him. And Herod with his men of war set him at nought, and mocked him, and arrayed him in a gorgeous robe, and sent him again to Pilate. Luke xxiii. 1-11.

Then Judas, which had betrayed him, when he saw that he was condemned, repented himself, and brought again the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and elders, saying, I have sinned, in that I have betrayed the innocent blood. And they said, What is that to us? See thou to that. And he cast down the pieces of silver in the temple, and departed, and went and hanged himself. — Matt. xxvii. 3-5.

Therefore when they were gathered together, Pilate said unto them, Whom will ye that I release unto you? Barabbas, or Jesus which is called Christ?- for he knew that for envy they had delivered him. When he was set down on the judgment-seat, his wife sent unto him, saying, Have thou nothing to do with that just man; for I have suffered many things this day in a dream because of him. But the chief priests and elders persuaded the multitude that they should ask Barabbas and destroy Jesus.—Matt. xxvii. 17-20.

And from thenceforth Pilate sought to release him: but the Jews cried out, saying, If thou let this man go,

thou art not Cæsar's friend : whosoever maketh himself a king,

« EelmineJätka »