John 19:17

Robert Hawker

"And he, bearing his cross."–John xix. 17.

Were grace always in lively exercise, how would every incident in the life of Jesus lead out the souls of his redeemed in endless contemplation Alas! my honoured Lord! how little do I think of thee, and of thy sufferings! Will Jesus, this evening, awaken me to the solemn subject? The bell of the neighbouring church is now tolling the curfew of the day. I hear it from my window. Ali! why should I want such a call to think on my Lord! Awake, awake my soul, and let thy meditation take wing, and flee to Gethsemane, and from the garden, and the hall, behold the Lamb of God bearing his cross towards the place of execution. Oh! Pilate! thou unjust judge! is this thy pretended innocency, to suffer him whom thou didst declare to be innocent, in the moment thou didst pass sentence for his death, to bear his cross also? See what long furrows the ploughers have ploughed upon his sacred back; and wilt thou compel him to bear the heavy weight upon a part so tender? See! Jesus faints under it! Will none of those whose souls he hath redeemed, and whose bodies be hath healed, help the Lord of life and glory? Where are his disciples? Are there none to aid? Not one to be found that dares assist him? Pause, my soul, over the sad contemplation! Christ is here, as his type represents him, the gospel Isaac, carrying the wood for his own burnt-offering. "In all things it behoved him to be made like unto his brethren." It was his office to be as a sheep before led as a lamb to the slaughter, and his shearers is dumb, so he opened not his mouth." "It pleased the Father to bruise him, and to put him to grief." The cross was ponderous. The body fainted under its pressure. But the sins of his redeemed made it heavier to his soul; and the weight of the Father's wrath against sin, aggravated the dreadful load. Precious Redeemer, dying Lamb of God! were my sins adding to thy sorrow? Have I been reproaching Pilate, and all the while forgetting that every trasgression of mine became more painful to thy soul than the cross, or the thorns, or the soldier's spear that pierced thine heart? Oh! for grace to crucify those sins which nailed thee to the cursed tree! Oh! for grace to take up the cross and follow thee, day by day. Lord Jesus, I would pray thee to give me grace, to go forth unto thee, "without the camp, bearing thy reproach."


Robert Hawker

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