‘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: Ephesians 1:1–10
She has received double. Not, as some suppose, that her afflictions had already been over-proportioned to their procuring cause—sin. We shall always have reason to say, He has not dealt with us according to our iniquities. Others, who are rather too eager to strain texts beyond their proper import in order to support a favourite doctrine, suppose that the suffering of the Messiah would be greater than the exigency of the case—more than necessary. But the truth is best proved and supported by texts which expressly teach it. The efficacy of the atonement is indeed greater than the actual application and sufficient to save the whole race of mankind, if they believed in the Son of God. But he groaned and bled upon the cross till he could say, It is finished [John 19:30]—but no longer. It becomes us to refer to infinite wisdom the reasons why his sufferings were for such a precise time, but we may be sure they were not beyond what the cause required. I think the true sense of the words is that Jerusalem should receive blessings double, much greater, than all her former afflictions. And in general to us, to every believing sinner, that the blessings of the gospel would be an unspeakably great over-balance and compensation for all afflictions of every kind by which we have been or can be exercised. Afflictions are the fruit of sin, and because our sins have been many, our afflictions may be many. But where sin has abounded, grace has much more abounded.
FOR MEDITATION: Behold the goodness of God. Infinitely happy and glorious in himself. He has provided for the comfort of those who were rebels against his government and transgressors of his law.
Of sinners the chief, And viler than all,
The jailer or thief, Manasseh or Saul:
Since they were forgiven, Why should I despair,
While Christ is in heaven, And still answers prayer?
SERMON SERIES: MESSIAH, NO. 1 [4/4], ISAIAH 40:1–2