The Great Sin-Bearer | James Durham

All we like sheep have gone astray, we have turned every one to his own way and the Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all. Isaiah 53:6

Every expression that the prophet uses to set forth the grace of God in Jesus Christ to sinners, is more wonderful than another, because indeed everything he expresses is more wonderful than another. And there is so much grace and infinite love in the way of the gospel that it is hard to know where there is most of it; whether in its rise or in its execution; whether in the decree of God or in Christ’s satisfaction; whether in the benefits that we enjoy or in the way by which we are brought to enjoy them. Surely, all together make a wonder passing great, a most wonderful wonder, even a world of wonders.

It is a wonder that (as it is in Isaiah 53:5) He should be wounded for our transgressions, bruised for our iniquities, that the chastisement of our peace should be on him and that by his stripes we should be healed. And when here he comes to explain this and to show how it came to pass that Jesus Christ suffered so much, he holds out another new wonder, All we like sheep have gone astray, etc., as if he had said, ‘would you know how it comes to pass that the Mediator behooved to suffer and suffer so much?’ All we, the elect people of God, had gone astray like so many wandering sheep, as well as others, not one excepted. And there was not another way to recover and reclaim us but this, The Lord Jehovah laid on him the iniquity of us all. To recover us when we were lost, Jesus Christ was substituted in our room by the eternal decree of God and the iniquities of all of us who are His elect people as to their punishment, were laid upon Him.

This then is the scope, to show the rise of Christ’s sufferings and how it came to pass that our Lord suffered and suffered so much. The occasion of it was the elect’s sin; and the fountain-cause, the Father’s laying of their sin on Him by an eternal decree and making Him to answer for it according to that decree, with His undertaking, which was the covenant of redemption, whereof Christ’s suffering was the execution. Thus we have the fountain whence our Lord’s suffering flowed.

Excerpt of Sermon 26, Christ Crucified by James Durham