THE GREATEST DISPLAY OF GOD’S HOLINESS AND HATRED OF SIN – THE CROSS
Octavius Winslow (1808-1878)
The most significant and appalling demonstration of God’s holiness that the universe ever beheld, infinitely distancing and transcending every other, is the sufferings and death of His only and beloved Son! The cross of Calvary exhibits God’s hatred and punishment of sin in a way and to an extent which the annihilation of millions of worlds, swept from the face of the universe by the broom of His wrath, could never have done! “Who His own self bare our sins in His own body on the tree” (I Peter 2:24).
Behold the most awful display of God’s hatred of sin! Finding the sins of the Church upon Christ as its Surety, Substitute, and Saviour, the wrath of God was poured out upon Him without measure! God finding the sins of His people laid upon His Son, emptied upon His holy soul all the vials of His wrath due to their transgressions! Go, my soul, to Calvary, and learn how holy God is, and what a monstrous thing sin is, and how imperiously, solemnly, and holily bound Jehovah is to punish it, either in the person of the sinner, or in the person of a Surety. Never was the Son of God dearer to the Father than at the very moment that the sword of divine justice, flaming and flashing, pierced to its hilt His holy heart!
But it was the wrath of God, not against His beloved Son, but against the sins which met on Him when presenting Himself on the cross as the substitutionary sacrifice and offering for His Church He gave Himself for us. What a new conception must angels have formed of the exceeding sinfulness of sin, when they beheld the flaming sword of justice quenched in the holy, loving bosom of Jesus! And in what a dazzling light does this fact place the marvellous love of God to sinners! Man’s sin and God’s love; the indescribable enormity of the one, and the immeasurable greatness of the other; are exhibited in the cross of Christ as nowhere else. Oh, to learn experimentally these two great facts – sin’s infinite hatefulness, and love’s infinite holiness! The love of God in giving His Son to die; the love of Christ in dying; the essential turpitude and unmitigated enormity of sin, which demanded a sacrifice so Divine, so holy, and so precious!