Is it nothing to you, all ye that pass by? behold, and see if there be any sorrow like unto my sorrow, which is done unto me, wherewith the LORD hath afflicted me in the day of his fierce anger. (Lamentations 1:12)
When Christians think of Calvary and of their wounded, bleeding Lord, they cannot keep from imagining the Lord crying these words from the Cross. For He was “a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief”.
I. THE SUFFERINGS OF THE SON OF GOD UPON THE CROSS ARE UNPARALLELED.
- Because of the Divine Dignity of His Person.
And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth. (John 1:14)
God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds; Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high; (Hebrews 1:1-3)
Kings have died, philosophers have died, but never such a One as this, for He that bled on Calvary was Prophet, Priest and King, the Eternal Son of God.
- Because of the Perfect Innocence of His Character.
Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot: (I Peter 1:18-19)
Herein is a sorrow never to be forgotten, that He must bleed and die and moreover he must so suffer as to be connected with sin.
For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him. (II Corinthians 5:21)
- Because in His case there was such a conjunction of griefs.
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. Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all. He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth. (Isaiah 53:3-7)
Sometimes you and I have grief on grief and things are so hard, but with Christ it seemed as if every form of grief was let loose against Him.
And he taketh with him Peter and James and John, and began to be sore amazed, and to be very heavy; And saith unto them, My soul is exceeding sorrowful unto death: tarry ye here, and watch. And he went forward a little, and fell on the ground, and prayed that, if it were possible, the hour might pass from him. (Mark 14:33-35)
And being in an agony he prayed more earnestly: and his sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground. (Luke 22:44)
Because all of His sorrow was voluntarily undertaken.
Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. (Philippians 2:5-8)
He was under no compulsion from any force which He could not Himself control.
Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. (Hebrews 12:2)
II. THE SUFFERINGS OF CHRIST HAVE A DEEP INTEREST IN THEM FOR MANY.
- Multitudes have found in the sufferings of Christ the cure for their despair.
- And in curing their despair they have wrought a complete transformation in their lives.
- The apostle Paul on the way to Damascus breathing out threatening and slaughter, becomes the greatest of all preachers of Christ.
- The sufferings of Christ have girded them to heroic deeds.
- The lifting up of the little finger of Christ was enough to move hosts of men and women to court death and defy the flames.
- The sufferings of Christ teach men to hate sin, when they see the agonies by which redemption was obtained.
III. WHAT HAVE YOU TO DO WITH HIM?
- He means nothing to so many.
- They rise like a balloon and are filled and inflated with prosperity.
- But when the wine is sour and the gold corroded, what then?
And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment: (Hebrews 9:27)
- He can mean everything to the heavy of heart.
- Are you guilty? Would you be forgiven? Turn aside and look at Him. Look till your eyes are full of tears.
And he said unto Jesus, Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom. And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, To day shalt thou be with me in paradise. (Luke 23:42-43)
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. (I John 1:9)
- If you won’t take Him, what have you to offer in His place?
- You who say that we Christians are doing no good.
- Try your own hand at it.
- Go to the sick, the dying, take them bottles of your philosophy, comfort them with the elixir of scientific doubt. Go ahead!
Spurgeon said, I shall never forget when I shook the hand of Livingstone. I count it one of the great honors of my life to have known him. It was the love of Christ that made him tread pathless Africa and die among the heathen… Over there at your Smithfield, there were men and women who were summoned to stand at fiery stakes and burn; and they were seen to clap their hands, when every finger was a candle and cry, “None but Christ! None but Christ!”
There was a poor girl who had long been a Christian, but she was very sad at heart through sickness; and when her minister came to see her he said to her, “Well, Susan, how is your hope?” She said, “Sir, I am afraid I am not a Christian. I do not love the Lord Jesus Christ.” He said, “Why, I always thought you did. You acted as if you did.” “No,” she said, “I am afraid I have deceived myself and that I do not love Him.” The minister wisely walked to the window and wrote on a piece of paper, “I do not love the Lord Jesus Christ,” and he said, “Susan, here is a pencil. Just put your name to that.” “No sir,” she said, “I could not sign that.” “Why not?” “I would be torn to pieces before I would sign it, sir.” “But why not sign it if it is true?” “Ah, sir,” said she, “I hope it is not true. I think I do love Him.”
IS IT NOTHING TO YOU, WHAT CHRIST HAS DONE FOR YOU?