And there followed him a great multitude of the people and of women who were mourning and lamenting for him.
Among the rabble that hounded the Redeemer to His doom, there were some gracious souls whose bitter anguish found an outlet in wailing and lamentations—suitable music to accompany that woeful march. When I can, in imagination, see the Savior bearing His cross to Calvary, my soul joins the godly women and weeps with them; for, indeed, there is true cause for grief—cause lying deeper than those mourning women recognized. They bewailed innocence maltreated, goodness persecuted, love bleeding, meekness about to die; but my heart has a deeper and more bitter cause to mourn. My sins were the scourges that lacerated those blessed shoulders and crowned with thorns those bleeding brows: 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. The reason for those women's love and tears is plain to read, but they 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 of the greater plague of sin. Out of Magdalene seven devils were cast—but a whole legion out of me. Mary and Martha were favored with visits—but He dwells with me. His mother bore His body—but He is formed in me, the hope of glory. Since I am not behind the holy women in debt, 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.
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From Morning & Evening revised and edited by Alistair Begg copyright © 2003. Used by permission of Crossway Books, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers, Wheaton, IL 60187, www.crossway.org.