Sometimes it does us good to consider the sheer sinfulness of our sin. Sometimes it does us good to consider what our sin has cost. Perhaps these words from Isaac Ambrose will challenge you as they did me.
When I but think of those bleeding veins, bruised shoulders, scourged sides, furrowed back, harrowed temples, nailed hands and feet, and then consider that my sins were the cause of all, methinks I should need no more arguments for self-abhorring!
Christians, would not your hearts rise against him that should kill your father, mother, brother, wife, husband,—dearest relations in all the world? Oh, then, how should your hearts and souls rise against sin! Surely your sin it was that murdered Christ, that killed him, who is instead of all relations, who is a thousand, thousand times dearer to you than father, mother, husband, child, or whomsoever. One thought of this should, methinks, be enough to make you say, as Job did, ‘I abhor myself, and repent in dust and ashes.
Oh, what is that cross on the back of Christ? My sins. Oh, what is that thorny crown on the head of Christ? My sins. Oh, what is the nail in the right hand and that other in the left hand of Christ? My sins. Oh, what is that spear in the side of Christ? My sins. What are those nails and wounds in the feet of Christ? My sins. With a spiritual eye I see no other engine tormenting Christ, no other Pilate, Herod, Annas, Caiaphas, condemning Christ, no other soldiers, officers, Jews or Gentiles doing execution on Christ, but only sin. Oh, my sins, my sins, my sins!”
These words from Joseph Hart seem fitting:
Many woes had Christ endured,
Many sore temptations met,
Patient, and to pains inured:
But the sorest trial yet
Was to be sustain’d in thee,
Gloomy, sad Gethsemane !
Came at length the dreadful night:
Vengeance, with its iron rod,
Stood, and with collected might
Bruised the harmless Lamb of God:
See, my soul, thy Saviour see
Prostrate in Gethsemane !
There my God bore all my guilt:
This, through grace, can be believed;
But the horrors which he felt
Are too vast to be conceived:
None can penetrate through thee,
Doleful, dark Gethsemane !
Sins against a holy God,
Sins against his righteous laws,
Sins against his love, his blood,
Sins against his name and cause,—
Sins immense as is the seal
Hide me, O Gethsemane !
Here’s my claim, and here alone;
None a Saviour more can need :
Deeds of righteousness I’ve none;
No,-not one good work to plead:
Not a glimpse of hope for me,
Only in Gethsemane.
Father, Son and Holy Ghost,
One almighty God of love,
Hymn’d by all the heavenly host
In thy shining courts above,
We adore thee, gracious Three,—
Bless thee for Gethsemane.