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June 17 Today’s Reading: Psalm 37-43
“Mine iniquities have taken hold upon Me!”
Be astonished, O my soul! Adore the mystery of substitution and the great mercy, grace, and love of the Lord Jesus Christ, the sinner’s Substitute! That these are the words of our Savior, when he was made sin for us, we cannot doubt. (Hebrews 10:5). His love for us was and is so great that in verse 7 he declares his readiness to assume a body and to accomplish his Father’s will in the salvation of his chosen, agreeably to the ancient settlements written in the Volume of the Book, saying, “Lo! I come, I delight to do thy will, O my God.” Then in verses 11 and 12, he prays for deliverance from his deep distresses.
Why was the Son of God brought to such sorrow and grief? Here is the answer. — “He hath made him sin for us, who knew no sin, that we might be made the righteousness of God in him!” Indeed, he could never have suffered the painful, shameful, ignominious death of the cross as our Substitute had he not been made sin for us. Justice would never have allowed it. The Lord God declares, “He that justifieth the wicked, and he that condemneth the just, even they both are abomination to the Lord” (Proverbs 17:15; Exodus 23:7).
Hear the Savior’s words in Psalm 40:12, and worship him. — “For innumerable evils have compassed me about.” The Blessed One of God, who knew no sin and did no sin, was made sin! He cried, “Mine iniquities have taken hold upon me, so that I am not able to look up.” He had no sin, but sin was laid on him; and he took it as his own. He was made sin for us. The transfer of sin to our dear Savior was real, so real that it produced in him such horror he could not look up, such horror of guilt that he could not look into the face of God, bowing him down with crushing anguish and woe intolerable!
My soul, what would our sins have done to us eternally if the Friend of sinners had not condescended to take them all upon himself? Oh, blessed Scripture! — “He hath made him sin for us!” Oh, marvellous depth of love, that made the perfectly immaculate Lamb of God to stand in the sinner’s place, and bear the horror of great trembling which sin must bring upon those who are forever keenly conscious of it in hell!
“They are more than the hairs of mine head: therefore my heart faileth me.” — The pains of God’s holy fury against sin, his unbending justice and unmitigated wrath were beyond calculation; and the Savior’s soul was so crushed with them, that he was sore amazed with the load of guilt. Imagine that. — The Holy One of God oppressed with an agonizing load of guilt that no other man could ever know, the guilt of all the sins of his people! His heaviness of heart caused by the anticipation of this guilt caused him to break out in a sweat of blood in dark Gethsemane. His strength was gone, his spirit sank, he was in great anguish of heart (Psalm 22:14-15). It was the thought and anticipation of being made sin for us, not of simply paying the debt due unto our sins, but of being made sin, that caused his bloody sweat in Gethsemane. It was this fact, the fact that he was made sin for us, that caused him to be forsaken of his Father as he hung upon the cursed tree on Golgotha’s hill (Psalm 22:1-3).
O Spirit of God, let me never cease to be overwhelmed by the love of God in Christ which constrained my all-glorious Redeemer to be made sin for me!