Saturday, March 15, 2008
"Christ died for the ungodly." Romans 5:6
What had You done, O my sweet Savior, and ever-blessed
Redeemer—that You were thus betrayed by Judas, sold to
the Jews, apprehended as a malefactor, and led bound as
a lamb to the slaughter? What evil had You committed,
that You should be thus openly arraigned, falsely accused,
and unjustly condemned? What was Your offence? Whom
did You ever wrong? that You should be thus . . .
woefully scourged with whips,
crowned with thorns,
reviled with words,
buffeted with fists,
beaten with staves?
O Lord, what did You do to deserve to have Your blessed
face spit upon, and covered as it were with shame; to have
Your hands and feet nailed to the cross; to be lifted up on
the cursed tree; to be crucified among thieves, and made
to taste gall and vinegar; and in Your deadly extremity, to
endure such a sea of God's wrath, that made You cry out,
as if You had been forsaken by God Your Father; yes, to
have Your innocent heart pierced with a cruel spear, and
Your precious blood spilt before Your blessed mother's eyes?
Sweet Savior, how much were You tormented to endure all
this—seeing I am so much amazed even to think upon it!
What is the cause, then, O Lord, of this Your cruel
ignominy, passion, and death? I, O Lord—I am the
cause of these Your sorrows!
My sins wrought Your shame;
my iniquities are the occasion of Your injuries;
I have committed the fault—and You are punished for the offence;
I am guilty—and You are arraigned;
I committed the sin—and You suffered the death;
I have done the crime—and You hung on the cross!
Oh, the deepness of God's love!
Oh, the amazing profoundness of heavenly grace!
Oh, the immeasurable measure of divine mercy!
The wicked transgress—and the just is punished;
the guilty set free—and the innocent is arraigned;
the malefactor is acquitted—and the harmless condemned;
what the evil man deserves—the holy God suffers!
What shall I say? Man sins—and God dies!
O Son of God! who can sufficiently . . .
express Your love, or
commend Your pity, or
extol Your praise?
I was proud—and You are humble;
I was disobedient—and You became obedient;
I ate the forbidden fruit—and You hung on the cursed tree;
evil lust drew me to eat the pleasant apple—
and perfect love led You to drink of the bitter cup;
I tasted the sweetness of the fruit—
and You tasted the bitterness of the gall.
O my God, here I see . . .
Your goodness—and my vileness;
Your justice—and my injustice.
And now, O blessed Lord, You have endured all this for
my sake; what shall I render unto You for all Your benefits
bestowed upon me, a sinful soul? What shall I render to
You, for giving Yourself in Your infinite love, to so cruel
a death, to procure my redemption?
--from Grace Gems