“And I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplications: and they shall look upon me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him, as one mourneth for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for him, as one that is in bitterness for his firstborn.” —Zechariah 12:10
WHAT IS THERE IN THE SIGHT OF JESUS TO MAKE US MOURN FOR SIN?
Let us not answer this question merely in a doctrinal fashion, but as we proceed, let us pray that the Holy Ghost may bring our minds to feel the melting force of the great sacrifice on Calvary, so that we may bedew his cross with tears of holy penitence….
The first cause for deep sorrow lies in the excellency of the Sufferer’s person. He who hangs there is no other than that Son of God before whom angels veil their faces with their wings; he is Lord of heaven and earth: concerning him, the Father said of old, “Let all the angels of God worship Him.” At his behests the cherubim and seraphim fly to the utmost verge of space, glad to be the messengers of his good pleasure. He is the light and brightness of heaven, the express image of his Father’s glory. “Without him was not anything made that was made,” and by him all things consist; and yet the King of heaven lays aside his crown, strips himself of his purple, takes off his golden rings, becomes an infant of a span long, and after a life of suffering yields himself to a slave’s death upon the wretched gibbet of the cross. My soul, dost thou not sorrow that so divine a person should sink so low? Think of the purity of his character as man! In him was never any sin, and yet he suffers. His whole life was spent in doing good; unselfishly he spared not himself; and now men do not spare him their worst cruelty. He gives food to the hungry, health to the sick, life to the dead; he hath not time for himself so much as to eat bread; he shuns no labour for the good of others; he seeks no ease for himself; and yet the men whom he would bless conspire to curse him. He lives a life of perfect holiness, in no way causing any to offend; his life is the pure light of the sun of love, it hath no darkness whatever in it; his acts are as a river flowing with crystal streams of lovingkindness, untainted by selfishness or ambition; and yet he bleeds. Heaven’s brightest jewel is cast into the mire: earth’s purest gold is trodden in the streets. He who is of heaven the sun, suffers an eclipse; he who is of earth the brightest star, is hidden beneath black clouds. O thou immaculate man, shall I see thee bleed without compassion? O thou Almighty God, shall I see thee incarnate in the flesh, suffering throes and pangs worthy of thy godhead, without feeling the commiseration of my soul stirred towards thee? Can we, brethren, think of the beauty of our Lord, without being filled with bitterness of soul for him? Shall those eyes which are as the eyes of doves by the rivers of waters, which once were washed with milk, now be drowned in tears of blood? His cheeks, which are as a bed of spices, as sweet flowers shall these be given to them that pluck off the hair. Those hands which are set with jewels, shall they be pierced? Shall his legs, which are as pillars of marble set upon sockets of fine gold, become all bespattered with the stream of his heart’s gore? Oh! here is sorrow if ye will. That precious casket of his body, so rich that heaven a treasures and earth’s wealth together could not furnish such another, that dear case of jewels is cast out as an unclean thing, and made a victim without the camp! O, who will give me tears? I weep, I must weep for my sins!
“My sins, my hateful, cruel sins,
His chief tormentors were,
Each of my crimes became a nail,
And unbelief the spear.
“‘Twas you that pulled the vengeance down,
Upon his guiltless head,
Break, break my heart! O burst mine eyes,
And let my sorrows bleed.”
Charles H. Spurgeon (1834-1892)
Delivered Sunday Morning, June 19, 1861
at the Metropolitan Tabernacle, Newington
Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit, Vol. 10, Sermon No. 575
“The Pierced One Pierces the Heart”
(Anniversary of Mr. Spurgeon’s Birthday, June 19, 1834)