365 days with Newton

10 JUNE

An offer of pardon

‘Speak ye comfortably to Jerusalem, and cry unto her, that her warfare is accomplished, that her iniquity is pardoned: for she hath received of the LORD’S hand double for all her sins.’ Isaiah 40:2
SUGGESTED FURTHER READING: Hebrews 10:11–18

Her iniquity is pardoned. The Messiah is coming to put away all sin by the one full, sufficient sacrifice of himself. We know that he is come, the atonement made, the ransom paid and accepted, and a throne of grace established to which whoever comes shall in no wise be cast out. To be capable of this comfort, the heart must be in a state suited to it. A free pardon is a comfort to a malefactor, but it implies guilt, and therefore they who have not broken the laws would be rather offended than comforted by an offer of pardon. Could we suppose that a company of people, who were all trembling under an apprehension of the wrath of God, constrained to confess the justice of the sentence, but not as yet informed of any way to escape, were to hear this message for the first time and to be fully assured of its truth and authority, they would receive it as life from the dead. But, for want of knowing themselves, it is to be feared that many who have received pleasure from the music of the Messiah, neither found nor expected nor desired to find any comfort from the words.
FOR MEDITATION:
My soul is beset
The death that he died,
When nailed to the tree,
With grief and dismay,
The blood that he spilt,
He answered the prayer
I owe a vast debt
To sinners applied,
Of one, who like me,
And nothing can pay:
Discharge from all guilt:
Was nigh to despair;
I must go to prison,
This great Intercessor
He did not upbraid him
Unless that dear Lord,
Can give, if he please,
With all he had done,
Who died and is risen,
The vilest transgressor
But instantly made him,
His pity afford.
Immediate release.
A saint and a son.

SERMON SERIES: MESSIAH, NO. 1 [3/4], ISAIAH 40:1–2

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