Isa. 53:3

Robert Hawker

"Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows."–Isa. liii. 3.

My soul! call up, this evening, all thy most earnest and most solemn thoughts, to the meditation of a subject, which the Holy Ghost opens to thy view in these words. And if the Lord the Spirit, that proposeth to thy soul the solemn consideration, will graciously instruct thee through it, perhaps it will lead to such views of Jesus as may not before so fully have struck thine attention. Oh, Lord! guide thy servant in it! Now here it is said, "He hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows." By which, it may be supposed, is meant, both the curse and the punishment. And certain it is, that unless Christ bore both, the sinner is not freed. From the sinner, or his surety, God's justice must exact full payment. But if it be found that in the surety that exaction hath been made, and fully paid, then is the sinner free; for from both it would be unjust to exact. Now behold, my soul, in the person of thy surety, how in the most minute points, even as the sinner himself, thy Jesus stood for thee. And then see, from beholding thy Redeemer in this most endearing point of view, whether thou art not constrained to cry out, with the prophet, "Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows!" A few of the most prominent features in the griefs and sorrows of Jesus, will be sufficient in point, by way of illustration. And first, every sinner, by virtue of being a transgressor, is exposed to the curse of God; and that curse is upon every thing belonging to him, as Moses told Israel; "Thou art cursed in thy basket, and in thy store; in lying down and rising up; in going out and coming home." Deut. xxviii. 16, &c. Now Jesus, as the sinner's surety, is, by way of peculiar emphasis, called "the man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief." He endured, in his person, the very curse denounced upon the sinner. All was poured upon Jesus, through every part of his life: and as the curse, but for Jesus's interposition, would follow the sinner in death; so Christ was followed by it to the cross. The sinner's dying chamber would open to him the horrors of divine wrath on sin; such as Jesus, for the sinner, sustained in the garden of Gethsemane. And as no by-standers, no earthly friends, could mitigate the horrors of the sinner's soul in such a season; so we find Christ, when going through these conflicts for the sinner, could gain no help from any of his disciples – "they all forsook him and fled." And doth the sinner's conscience then betray and aggravate the load of woe? And did not Judas, Christ's bosom friend, come boldly forward to aggravate the Redeemer's sorrow? And as every sinner, out of Christ, for whom he, as the surety, hath paid no ransom, would in the moment of death, be seized, bound hand and foot, and carried away by an armed band to utter darkness, where there is weeping and gnashing of teeth; so Christ was taken, as the sinher's surety, by an armed band, from the high priest to the judgment-hall, where he lay all night, suffering the punishment of stripes and mocking. And as, in the morning of the resurrection, sinners out of Christ, must arise to all the horrors of judgment; and the irreversible sentence be pronounced in the presence of all beholders, which consigns them to everlasting punishment; so Christ, the surety for his sinful people, in the morning was brought from the hall of Pilate to the hill of Calvary, and there received the sentence of death, executed upon his sacred person, in the view of all that passed by. – Pause, my soul, over the representation of truths so awful! Surely thou mayest say, if Jesus had not sustained the curse and punishment, then must I have borne it for ever. But if, as the prophet hath marked it in this most blessed scripture, "Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows," then is the principal debtor free, when the surety hath paid the debt! Oh! the preciousness, the suitableness, the completeness of Jesus, in the whole purpose Of his redemption. Blessed, blessed, blessed for ever, be Jehovah, for Jesus Christ!


Robert Hawker

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