And there followed him a great company of people, and of women, which also bewailed and lamented 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 grief—cause lying deeper than those mourning women thought. They bewailed . . .
innocence—maltreated, goodness—persecuted, love—bleeding, meekness—dying!
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 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!”
thy gentleness hath made me great. — Ps 18:35
The words are capable of being translated, “Your goodness has made me great.” David gratefully ascribed all his greatness, not to his own goodness but the goodness of God.
“Your providence has made me great,” is another reading; and providence is nothing more than God’s goodness in action. Goodness is the bud—of which providence is the flower; or goodness is the seed—of which providence is the harvest. Some render it, “Your help,” which is but another word for providence; providence being the firm ally of the saints, aiding them in the service of their Lord.
Or again, “Your humility has made me great.”
“Your condescension” may, perhaps, serve as a comprehensive reading, combining the ideas mentioned, including that of humility. It is God’s making Himself little—which is the cause of our being made great. We are so little, that if God should manifest His greatness without condescension, we would be trampled under His feet; but God, who must stoop to view the skies, and bow to see what angels do—turns His eye yet lower, and looks to the lowly and contrite and makes them great.
There are yet other readings, as for instance, the Septuagint, which reads, “Your discipline” Your fatherly correction, “has made me great;” while the Chaldee paraphrase reads, “Your Word has increased me.” Still the idea is the same.
David ascribes all his own greatness to the condescending goodness of his Father in heaven. May this sentiment be echoed in our hearts this evening while we cast our crowns at Jesus’ feet, and cry, “Your gentleness has made me great!”
How marvelous has been our experience of God’s gentleness! How gentle have been His corrections! How gentle His forbearance! How gentle His teachings! How gentle His drawings! Meditate upon this theme, O believer. Let gratitude be awakened; let humility be deepened; let love be quickened before you fall asleep tonight!
Morning and Evening - April 9
Public domain content taken from Morning and Evening by Charles H. Spurgeon.