(by Henry Law)
“For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your forefathers, but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect!” 1 Peter 1:18-19
Blessed Jesus, we kneel before Your cross, humbly praying that through Your Spirit, power may come forth from it—to show us more deeply, the heinousness of our sin.
We see You laden with our iniquities. What must iniquity be—if there can be no pardon except that You should thus expire in agony! We see the outgoing severity of divine wrath. What must that evil be—which thus requires it!
In that crown of thorns,
in those pierced hands and feet,
in those bleeding wounds,
in that bruised frame,
in that dying cry
—we are taught the enormity of our guilt!
We know that the worth of Your blood is infinite. Its precious value exceeds all thought! Infinite therefore must be the evil—for which it is the only ransom. Exceeding all thought must be the guilt—which requires such a great price! In Your death—we see the tremendous guilt of our sins. We see it, and we cast ourselves in the lowliest humility before You.
SIN is the malady which so sorely afflicts us. It cleaves to us as our very skin! It is born in our birth. It lives in our lives. It adheres to us when we lie down to die. It follows us as our very shadow! It intermingles in our every thought. When we go forth—it is by our side. When we come in—it still accompanies us. We are tied and bound by its enslaving chain! At Your cross—we are taught how terrible is the evil of sin. We see how unutterable is the wrath which it so righteously deserves.
Laden with our mountains of sins—we come to You for refuge. Looking to You, and striving to estimate more and more the riches of redeeming grace—we loathe and abhor ourselves—as fully sin-soiled and polluted. We marvel that . . .
the sun consents to give us light,
the air consents to supply breath,
the earth consents to bear our tread,
the fruit tree consents to nourish us,
Your creatures consent to serve our use.
Because of US—the whole creation groans and travails. Justly might all things, animate and inanimate, rise in abhorrence of us!
How much more do we marvel, precious Jesus—
that Your compassionate heart yearned over us,
that Your love hastened to our rescue,
that You endured all our curse, and all our guilt!
We bless You—while we hide our heads in deepest shame!
Gracious Savior, may the sight of Your unutterable sufferings excite in us—due detestation of this monster, sin! Oh, forbid it, that we should ever dally with that foe—which brought You to such anguish. Forbid it, that we should fondle in our breasts that viper—which stung You to death! Forbid it that we should lightly regard that sin, which kindled the flames of hell, from which nothing but Your dying love could snatch us! May we hate it with unrelenting hate! May we abhor it with abhorrence—only exceeded by the infinite love with which we desire infinitely to love You, our adorable Savior!
But while we pray that henceforth we may increasingly abominate all evil—we know that, without Your grace, our traitorous heart will look treacherously back. It has often deceived us. It has often betrayed us. Bind our truant heart more closely to Yourself. Never allow it to stray.
You are our only Redeemer. You are our only help. Repentance, and strength, and pardon are the free gifts of Your grace. We adore You that You are exalted to be Lord and Savior, to give repentance and forgiveness of sins to Your people. Fill us, we beg You, with godly sorrow. From the depths of our humiliation—we cry aloud to the heights of Your mercy! Having died to deliver us from the punishment of our sins, we trust You to deliver us from their power. Hear us, we earnestly beseech You. Amen.
“Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. Point out anything in me that offends you, and lead me along the path of everlasting life!” Psalm 139:23-24