Reading: “And he, bearing his cross…”—John 19:17

How little do we think of our Saviour and of His sufferings! Think of Pilate, that unjust judge who suffered him whom he declared to be innocent, now to bear His cross? Think of the long furrows the ploughers ploughed on his back, and yet he is compelled to bear the heavy weight on His back so torn and tender? He faints under it!

Will none of those whose souls He redeemed and whose bodies he healed, help Him? Where are his disciples? Are there none to help? Not one to be found that dares assist him?

Christ is here, as his type represents him, the gospel Isaac, carrying the wood for his own burnt-offering. “In all things it behoved him to be made like unto his brethren.” It was his office to be led “as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before his shearers is dumb, so he opened not his mouth.” “It pleased the Father to bruise him, and to put him to grief.” The body fainted under its pressure. But the sins of his redeemed made it heavier to his soul; and the weight of the Father’s wrath against sin, aggravated the dreadful load.

Precious Redeemer, dying Lamb of God, were my sins adding to the sorrow? Have I been reproaching Pilate, and all the while forgetting that every transgression of mine became more painful to the soul than the cross, or the thorns, or the soldier’s spear that pierced the heart? Oh, for grace to crucify those sins which nailed you to the cursed tree! Oh, for grace to take up the cross and follow you day by day. Lord Jesus, I would pray for grace, to go unto you “without the camp, bearing thy reproach.” 

Taken from The Poor Man’s Evening and Morning Portions by Rev. Robert Hawker, Works, Vol. 8; 1830. Edited by Aaron Dunlop for thinkgospel.com ©2013.