Listen to sermons at FreeGraceRadio.com
Immanuel’s Indescribable Sorrow
Here is a vision of indescribable sorrow. “All ye that pass by, behold and see if there be any sorrow like unto my sorrow.” Is any sorrow so deep, so undeserved, so effectual? What strong language our Savior uses here to declare that his indescribable sorrow is a sorrow that the Lord God himself put upon him. The Lord Jesus Christ voluntarily endured the painful, shameful, ignominious, violent death of the cross for sinners like you and me, that he might save his people from their sins and have us with him forever in the bliss and glory of his heavenly kingdom.
What mind can conceive, what tongue can declare the pain, agony, and sorrow the Lord Jesus Christ endured yonder at Calvary when he bore my sin in his own body on the tree and died in my place under the just fury and holy wrath of the Almighty? As he hangs there under the curse of the law, being made a curse for us, the divine Sufferer sends out a challenge. — “Behold, and see if there be any sorrow like unto my sorrow!” There is no sorrow in all the world, not even in the deepest, darkest pit of hell, like the sorrow of our Lord Jesus Christ enduring the terrible wrath and justice of God as my Substitute.
What was his sorrow, the sorrow done unto him, the sorrow wherewith the Lord afflicted him in the day of his fierce anger? Holiness was made sin! Innocence was made guilty! The spotless Lamb of God was made vile! The obedient Son was forsaken by his Father at the apex of his obedience! The righteous and faithful Servant of Jehovah was punished for rebellion and treason against the God of Heaven when he was most faithful! The Just One was executed by the sword of justice, because he who is holy, harmless, and undefiled was made sin and had become vile!
Who did this to this man? Who heaped such sorrow upon him? Who made him sin? Who ordered his execution? Hear him, as he tells us. — All this sorrow was done unto him by his own Father. It is that “wherewith the Lord hath afflicted me in the day of his fierce anger.” Yes, Jehovah laid on him the iniquity of all his elect. The yoke of his transgressions was bound by God’s own hand and laid on him. Our sins were wreathed by God’s own hand into a yoke of thorns (like the crown made by the hands of wicked men from the thorns of this cursed earth) and laid on his neck. The Holy Lord God sent fire into his bones that prevailed against him. God made him sin for us. God made the Holy One of Israel vile for us. God forsook him. And God killed him.
All this agony was heaped upon the Lord Jesus by His Father! Yet, it was all undertaken and voluntarily endured by the Lord Jesus as our faithful Mediator and Surety (John 10:11, 15-18). He did not have to die. Death had no claim upon him. We had no claim upon him. We despised him and rejected him. We did not want him. Yet, he voluntarily laid down his life in our place, that he might reconcile us to God. He was willingly made sin for us that we might be made the righteousness of God in him! He died by the hands of men as well as for the sake of men. The Lord of Glory died for sinners who wished that he should be made to die.
There can be no explanation for the sufferings and death of the Son of God, but this: — “He loved us and gave himself for us!” Oh, what wondrous love is revealed at Calvary! Because he loved us with an everlasting love, the Son of God was made sin for us that he might die by the hands of divine justice to save us from our sins!