For a while now I have been reflecting on the unfathomable mystery of God’s love, that He chose to sacrifice himself for me, a sinful man, from whom He could receive no useful thing. The hymn begins; ‘I stand amazed in the presence Of Jesus the Nazarene; And wonder how He could love me; A sinner, condemned, unclean’. This makes me think of Jesus in the garden of Gethsemane shortly before He was arrested;
Matthew 26:36-39 ‘Then Jesus went with his disciples to a place called Gethsemane, and he said to them, ‘Sit here while I go over there and pray’. He took Peter and the two sons of Zebedee along with him, and he began to be sorrowful and troubled. Then he said to them, ‘My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me’. Going a little farther, he fell with his face to the ground and prayed, ‘My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will’.
Matthew 26:44 ‘So he left them and went away once more and prayed the third time, saying the same thing’.
In the stillness of the garden that night, Jesus, full of anguish and sorrow, faced the prospect of drinking from the cup of God’s terrible wrath against sin, and a violent and brutal death by crucifixion. He would no doubt have been tempted, as any man would have been, to flee from the horror of those trials ahead… But here is love, vaster than the ocean. In the garden that night He demonstrated the greatest love. Knowing that we would not always love Him back, and many would choose never to love Him at all, instead cursing His name. Despite the knowledge of all of our sin and disobedience towards Him, for you, and…. (the hymn continues) ‘For me it was in the garden; He prayed: “Not My will, but Thine.”; He had no tears for His own griefs; But sweat drops of blood for mine’.
Luke 22:43 ‘An angel from heaven appeared to him and strengthened him’. ‘In pity angels beheld Him; And came from the world of light; To comfort Him in the sorrows; He bore for my soul that night’.
Isaiah 53:6 ‘We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to our own way; and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all’. ‘He took my sins and my sorrows; He made them His very own; He bore the burden to Calvary; And suffered and died alone’.
John 3:16 ‘For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life’. ‘When with the ransomed in glory; His face I at last shall see; ’Twill be my joy through the ages; To sing of His love for me’.
Jesus loved us so much that He was willing to drink of the cup of God’s wrath against sin so we didn't have to. Romans 5:9 talks about this wrath, where it says: ‘Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God’s wrath through him!’
And finally, Revelation 14:19-20 provides us with an agricultural representation of the end times, where God’s mercy is cut off forever from those who have chosen to love sin over God, and His wrath is poured out upon them. ‘The angel swung his sickle on the earth, gathered its grapes and threw them into the great winepress of God’s wrath. They were trampled in the winepress outside the city, and blood flowed out of the press, rising as high as the horses’ bridles for a distance of 1,600 stadia’. What is marvellous, and what is wonderful, is that when Jesus, by Himself, purged our sins at Calvary, He made a way for us to avoid this wrath.
‘O how marvellous! O how wonderful!; And my song shall ever be: O how marvellous! O how wonderful!; Is my Saviour’s love for me!’
May God bless and enrich your life
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