The Glorious Gospel of the Blessed God

 •  3 min. read  •  grade level: 8
I WAS asked the other day to call and see an old pensioner, who, I was told, was dying, and apparently unsaved. He was able to speak but little on account of his cough, but he seemed very intelligently to enter into what I said to him. The Lord enabled me to tell him the gospel very simply and fully; and in doing so, I made use of the following illustration:-
"Suppose," I said, "a soldier was sentenced to be flogged for breach of discipline, and the colonel's son came to his father and used his influence to get the sentence canceled, wouldn't you understand it if, although there were no reason why the culprit should not be punished, the colonel let him go entirely free for his son's sake? Now," I went on to say, "is not that like the gospel? There is no reason in the sinner why God should not condemn him, but He forgives him for the sake of His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ."
"Yes," said the old man, "I see it-that's just it."
That is just it-just the only gospel most people know of, a gospel wanting in all that is indeed good news to an awakened conscience. It would be more like it, as I explained to the sick old man (and perhaps the illustration may pass here, far-fetched and imperfect though it be), it would be more like the gospel if the colonel's son, at his father's request, bared his own back to receive the lashes, and thus secured the soldier's pardon.
"The glorious gospel of the blessed God"-and it well deserves the name-is, that God found us in our sins, and righteously condemned us for them; found us estranged from Him, and enmity against Him; and yet, when there was no eye but His own to pity, and no other arm to save, He gave up His only-begotten Son, the brightness of His glory, and the express image of His Person; and He came down into the midst of our trials, and was Himself the Man of sorrows. He was a reproach of men, and despised of the people, the song of the drunkard; and through all this He manifested what God was to the sinner. He went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed, for God was with Him.
But in all this, though it makes glad the heart, the conscience seeks in vain a resting-place. Turn your thoughts to the cross of Calvary, and behold there the righteous ground of the sinner's pardon, and the unchanging ground of his peace. Stand by faith before that cross, and though all seem dark to the soul, hearken to that bitter cry that pierces thus the darkness, "My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me!" Oh, what is this! the "despised and rejected of men," at last forsaken by His God! Yes, forsaken, because of the sin He bore-the sin of the sinner whom He came to save. The Holy One of God, He who knew no sin, made sin for us! (Deut. 21:2323His body shall not remain all night upon the tree, but thou shalt in any wise bury him that day; (for he that is hanged is accursed of God;) that thy land be not defiled, which the Lord thy God giveth thee for an inheritance. (Deuteronomy 21:23); marg. 2 Cor. 5:2121For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him. (2 Corinthians 5:21).) Oh, weary hearts, troubled consciences, here is a calm and secure resting-place, and you need no dove's wings to bring you hither! This same Jesus is risen from the dead, and has sat down on high, having "by himself purged our sins;" and He is there the proof that they are purged. Look off, then, right off to Him, and in spite of cold heart, dead affections, want of feelings, want of everything you think you ought to have, say it out calmly, fearlessly, with the eye resting upon the risen Christ, "who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree." (1 Peter 2:2424Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed. (1 Peter 2:24).) And why not add, -" by whose stripes I am healed"?