Holy Father, we worship You in Your great name of ‘Love’. The heavens, the earth, and all that are therein, proclaim Your wondrous goodness. But it shines forth in surpassing luster at Calvary’s stupendous scene. We desire to adore You. Enlarge our hearts. Pour warmth into our affections. Open our lips. Supply words. And in Your mercy condescend to hear the praises which we devoutly utter.
At the cross we see Your heavenly grace removing the tremendous load of our iniquities from us—and heaping them all on Your beloved Son. We see Him standing as a transgressor in our place. We see Him, who knew no sin, made sin for us. We see Him, the all-holy, accounted as a curse. What shall we say unto You, O God of all grace? We can only fall low and cry, “We bless You! We adore You!”
We see Your justice leading the Spotless Lamb to the slaughter, and rigorously demanding the full payment of all our debt. The avenging sword enters into His very heart! The stream of sin-atoning blood flows. Full recompense is meted out. Exceeding satisfaction is made. Justice can ask no more. Charges against us are all obliterated. The debt-book is cancelled. If our sins are searched for, they cannot now be found! For the gift of Your Son as our substitute—for the death of Your Son as our ransom—we bless You; we adore You.
We hear the thunder of Your outraged law. We behold the gathering of the unsparing storm. But at Calvary it all breaks on the head of Him who is accounted the disobedient one for us. The curse descends in all its horrors. He absorbs the whole. We gaze—the darkness passes away. All heaven’s smiles beam brightly over us. O our God, we bless You and adore.
We behold, and He is devoted to all anguish—that we may be inheritors of all joy. He is cast off—that we may be brought near. He is treated as an enemy—that we may be welcomed as friends. He is deserted—that we may be received to everlasting favor. He is surrendered to hell’s worst—that we may attain heaven’s best. He is stripped—that we may be clothed. He is wounded—that we may be healed. He thirsts—that we may drink of the water of life. He is in darkness—that we may rejoice in the glories of eternal day. He weeps—that all tears may be forever wiped from our eyes. He groans—that we may sing an endless song. He endures all pain—that we may rejoice in unfading health. He wears a crown of thorns—that we may receive a crown of glory. He bows His head in death—that we may lift up our heads in heaven. He bears all reproach—that we may receive all welcome. He is tormented—that we may be comforted. He is made all shame—that we may inherit all glory. His eyes are dark in death—that our eyes may gaze on unclouded brightness. He dies—that we may escape the second death, and live for evermore. O gracious Father, thus You spare not Your only begotten Son, that You may spare us. All this transfer Your love designed and has achieved. We bless You; we adore.
Heavenly Father, enable us to show forth Your praise, not only by the fruit of our lips—but also in the fruit of our lives. Shall we see all our enemies crushed— Satan baffled, defeated, and destroyed; all our sins cast behind Your back—all buried in the ocean of reconciling blood; hell’s gates closed—heaven’s portals thrown widely open, and not exult in joy unspeakable and full of glory? Oh that every breath could be ecstatic praise, and every step be buoyant in delight!
Help us to go on our way rejoicing. Infinite attributes were outraged—but infinite atonement is made. Infinite punishment was due, infinite punishment has been endured. Our disease was incurable by our own resources—but all is healed in the saving wounds of Jesus!
We pray that the glad tidings of this glorious and finished work may be this day loudly and universally proclaimed. Jesus declares that, being lifted up, He will draw all men unto Himself. He has been lifted up on the cross, a spectacle to angels and to men. May He be lifted up in every pulpit. May multitudes flock to Him—as doves to their windows. May preachers know nothing among their flocks—but Jesus Christ and Him crucified. May their message be fragrant in His blood.
Go forth, O conquering Spirit, and show that the cross is mighty to subdue and comfort. Prove that the gospel is the power of God unto salvation to everyone that believes. Glory be to Your great love, Father. Son, and Holy Spirit! Amen.
O Jesus, O You whom our souls love, give ear, we beg You, to our evening-worship. The very stones would cry out, if we would fail to love You, who has so loved us. Greater love has no man than this—that a man should lay down his life for his friends. But You have laid down Your life for us, when we were enemies, estranged by nature, and hateful by wicked works!
We bless You for Your cross. Love shines brightly inscribed above it. We clasp the record to our souls. And knowing that You are the same yesterday and today and forever, we believe that You love us now, and will love us to the end.
Thus we come and present our hearts as a willing thank-offering. Accept them, we beseech You. Come in and occupy them wholly. Cast out every opposing feeling. Reign supreme. Let no rival passion interpose. Live in all our affections. Move in their every pulse.
We have this day been standing in spirit beside Your cross. Now let our concluding worship as a family give united adoration. The sight constrains us to the deepest humility. Our vile iniquity—is the cause of Your shame. We cannot fathom the sins which plunged You into such depths of unutterable woe! We cannot estimate the burden of wrath which thus crushed You. We cannot deny that the offences which stain us are evils of infinite malignity, since nothing but Your blood, O You who are Jehovah’s fellow, could wash away their guilty stains. As transgressors, we abhor ourselves before You.
While thus we sink into lowliest abasement, we hear Your reviving cry, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do!” The voice is heard in heaven. The Father always hears You. The prayer is accepted. You can not plead in vain. Forgiveness is sealed. Forgiveness is ours. Our sins and our iniquities will be remembered no more. The voice of the blood outcries the voice of our condemning offences. We rejoice in the comfort that we may this night lie down in peace, nothing doubting that through Your cross—eternal pardon is our portion!
Blessed Savior, continue, we beseech You, this Your cry in our behalf. Now at the right hand of the Majesty on high, plead Your atoning sacrifice. While we live—we go astray. Each moment testifies that when we would do good—that evil is present with us. Ever extend for us Your wounded hands. Ever renew the prevailing intercession, “Father, forgive them!”
Before we part this night, we would again drink in the wondrous tidings, “It is finished!” Increase our faith to grasp the full extent of the mighty word. May we live with it ever echoing in our ears. May we take it as the strong staff to stay our pilgrim steps. May the precious cordial ever cheer our hearts. May it give us boldness in every hour of trial and temptation. May it drive all desponding fears away.
“It is finished!” What more can we desire? “It is finished!” Of what, then, shall we be afraid? Salvation is finished to the uttermost. We adore You, O blessed Jesus. Heaven and earth shall pass away—but Your glorious work forever stands immovable. Your voice is the truth of God. Your voice declares it.
We mourn the wretchedness of our best services. They are indeed most vile. But no worth of ours is needed to complete what You have infinitely completed. If all holiness were ours, it could bring no addition to Your perfect achievement. Neither can our many sins impair it. Shall we not adore You, O You all-glorious Savior! We do adore You from our inmost souls.
But though our doings can add nothing to the finished fabric of Your salvation, we burn with desire by our lives to testify our gratitude. Our hearts throb to show forth Your praise, and to advance Your glory. But we can do nothing without Your Spirit. You must work in us to will and to do. We beg You to put forth Your mighty power to help us. Sanctify us wholly, body, soul, and spirit. Oh! that we might be holy, harmless, undefiled. Oh! that we might walk in purity and love. May we live as the purchased possession of Your blood—the bride whom You have espoused—the partners of Your throne.
May we be transformed into Your image. As we gaze on You—may we be changed into Your likeness from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of our Lord. Surely You who have loved us unto death, will not deny these earnest petitions of our lips! Jesus, hear, answer, bless! And all glory be to You, now and forever. Amen.