Monday, August 31, 2009

Winslow's "great sight"

But a more marvellous and stupendous spectacle meets us in the cross of Christ– Jesus enduring the fire of His Father's wrath: wrapped in the flame of His justice, and yet unconsumed! Let us turn aside from all inferior objects, and for a while contemplate this "great sight." It is indeed a great sight! The Son of God is laid upon the altar as a "burned offering," -a sacrifice for sin. The fire of Divine justice descends to consume Him- holiness in fearful exercise heaps on its fuel, and the flame and the smoke ascend in one vast column before the throne of the Eternal, "an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling savor." But behold the astonishment! Jesus suffering, and yet rejoicing! dying, and yet living! consuming, and yet unconsumed! These prodigies marked the offering up of our great High Priest upon Calvary. The dark billows of sorrow rolled over the human soul of Christ, but the Godhead remained calm and peaceful, its tranquillity unruffled by a wave of grief, its sunshine undimmed by a cloud of dark ness. He thus passed through all these throbs, and throes, and agonies of death, descended into the grave, rose again, lived, and still lives, the fountain of life to the created universe. Behold the God! Do you say He is a mere creature? Preposterous thought! Mad conception! Soul-destructive belief! Had He been less than divine, suffering as He did for sin, the devouring fire would have consumed Him in its unquenchable flame. (The Glory of the Redeemer, 89-90, emphasis mine)

To the heart-broken sinner, how attractive and glorious is this spectacle of the Almighty Redeemer sustaining the wrath and suffering the justice of God for transgression! Mourning soul! turn aside, and behold yet again this "great sight." "Put off your shoes from your feet, for the place whereon you stand eat is holy ground." Lay aside your fleshly reasoning, your carnal views of self-justification, self-salvation, and human power- put off all your fleshly ideas of God, of His grace, and of His goodness; divest yourself of all your unbelieving and hard thoughts of His power, willingness, and readiness to save you. Thus prepared, approach- gaze, wonder, and adore! (The Glory of the Redeemer, 90)

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