365 days with Newton


Lifted up to die

‘And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me. This he said, signifying what death he should die.’ John 12:32–33

When our Lord spoke these words, the season of his passion was approaching. His holy soul was troubled at the prospect of that woeful hour in which, for sins not his own, he was to sustain the curse of the law in all its horrors. But his purpose was fixed, his love was unalterable. In another view he rejoiced, he saw of the travail of his soul and was satisfied. The thought of the salvation of innumerable sinners made him willingly obedient to the death of the cross. The phrase lifted up may be applied to his suffering upon the cross, to his exaltation in his kingdom, to his being set forth in the preaching of the gospel. The former sense is particularly intended here, as is plain by his own words, though the others are not to be excluded—for the Spirit is given in consequence of his ascension, and if he was not preached he could not be known. He was lifted up—that is crucified—as the brazen serpent in the wilderness. This death was to the last degree painful; it was ignominious, being only the punishment of slaves and the vilest malefactors. And in the eye of the law it was an accursed death (Galatians 3:13 [Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree]).
‘Father, forgive (the Saviour said)
We knew not the desert of sin,
They know not what they do’:
Nor whom we thus defied;
His heart was moved when thus he prayed
Nor where our guilty souls had been,
For me, my friends, and you.
If JESUS had not died.

He saw, that as the Jews abused
But JESUS all our guilt foresaw,
And crucified his flesh;
And shed his precious blood
So he, by us, would be refused,
To satisfy the holy law,
And crucified afresh.
And make our peace with GOD.

Through love of sin, we long were prone
My sin, dear Saviour, made thee bleed,
To act as Satan bid;
Yet didst thou pray for me!
But now, with grief and shame we own,
I knew not what I did, indeed,
We knew not what we did.
When ignorant of thee.

SERMON: JOHN 12:32–33 [1/2]

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