"A great multitude of the people followed Him, including women who mourned and wailed for Him." Luke 23:27
Amid the rabble crowd which hounded the Redeemer to His doom, there were some gracious souls whose bitter anguish sought vent in wailing and lamentations—fit music to accompany that march of woe!
When my soul can, in imagination, see the Savior bearing His cross to Calvary—she joins the godly women and weeps with them; for, indeed, there is true cause for my grief—cause lying deeper than those mourning women thought. They bewailed . . .
But my heart has a deeper and more bitter cause to mourn—MY SINS were the scourges which lacerated those blessed shoulders, and crowned that bleeding brow with thorns!
My sins cried, "Crucify Him! Crucify Him!" and laid the cross upon His gracious shoulders! His being led forth to die, is sorrow enough for one eternity; but MY having been His murderer—is more, infinitely more grief, than one poor fountain of tears can express! Those women who loved and wept—could not have had greater reasons for love and grief, than my poor heart has!
The widow of Nain saw her son restored—but I myself have been raised to newness of life!
Peter's mother-in-law was cured of the fever—but I myself have been cured of the plague of sin!
Mary Magdalene had seven devils cast out of her—but a whole legion of devils were cast out of me!
Mary and Martha were favored with visits from Jesus—but He dwells with me!
I am not behind these holy women in debt to Jesus—let me not be behind them in gratitude or sorrow.
"Love and grief my heart dividing,
With my tears His feet I'll lave;
Constant still in heart abiding,
Weep for Him who died to save!"
"He was pierced for our transgressions,
He was crushed for our iniquities;
the punishment that brought us peace was upon Him,
and by His wounds we are healed. Isaiah 53:5
Infinite grief! amazing woe!
Behold my bleeding Lord!
Hell and the Jews conspired His death,
And used the Roman sword.
O, the sharp pangs of smarting pain
My dear Redeemer bore,
When knotty whips and ragged thorns
His sacred body tore!
But knotty whips and ragged thorns
In vain do I accuse;
In vain I blame the Roman bands,
And the more spiteful Jews.
'Twere you, my sins, my cruel sins,
His chief tormentors were;
Each of my crimes became a nail,
And unbelief the spear!
'Twere you that pulled the vengeance down
Upon His guiltless head;
Break, break, my heart! O burst, mine eyes!
And let my sorrows bleed.
Strike, mighty grace, my flinty soul,
Till melting waters flow,
And deep repentance drowns my eyes,
In sincere and bitter woe!
Isaac Watts, 1674-1748