42. Prayer in view of the Sufferings of Christ.
Alas! my Lord Jesus Christ, when I behold Thee, as Thou wast in the garden bowed down with heartfelt sorrow, and in great anguish didst sweat drops of blood, as Thou wast afterwards taken prisoner, bound, and during the whole night and hour of darkness mocked and insulted, in the morning early as the innocent Lamb accused, whipped with scourges, and finally sentenced to death, suspended on the cross, pierced in your hands and feet with ruthless nails, and not a member of Thy most holy body remaining without a wound:—Alas! when I see all this, I see nothing but my sins, guilt and iniquities which brought Thee into this plight, and for the sake of which Thou didst freely enter into such anguish and distress, into such sadness, pain and suffering. Alas! my Lord, it is all my guilt for which Thou didst suffer—I am the cause of it all. How wonderful are the ways and purposes of God! The Innocent One must pay for the guilt of the guilty, the Good One must suffer the punishments of the wicked. The Lord must atone the guilt of the servant, and that which sinful man has brought upon himself God must bear. O Thou Son of the living God, how great is Thy love and favor towards us mortals! What hast Thou not done and suffered to redeem me, a poor lost sinner, and to deliver me from death and eternal damnation. I have done evil, and Thou art punished; I have sinned, and Thou must atone. I have been disobedient, and Thou must for my disobedience be overwhelmed with such anguish and distress. Alas! Thou Lord of Glory, what can I give Thee in return for this Thy great goodness and faithfulness which Thou hast shown towards me! Wherewith shall I, poor needy mortal, requite such unspeakable benefit? Alas! my Lord, it shall forever remain unrequited. There is no service in heaven or on earth whereby to pay Thee sufficiently for it. It is Thy pure grace and favor towards me, a poor sinner, and that remains by me forever unrequited, forever unmerited. And since I have nothing where with all to pay my debt, therefore my heart shall evermore thank Thee for what Thou hast done to me, and I shall magnify, glorify and praise Thy name now and forever. Amen.