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Time for taunt, and insult, and cruelty!

(Horatius Bonar, "The Surety's Thirst")

" And the soldiers also mocked Him, coming to

Him and offering Him vinegar." Luke 23:36

This is the last venting of man's enmity against God;
the last drop of the old serpent's venom poured upon
the holy Jesus! "This is the heir; come, let us kill Him!"
Man has got God into his power; he has got the
Son of God hanging helplessly on a tree; and his enmity
to God now gives full vent! He can mock God safely
now. Thus man's hatred of God comes out in all its
bitterness; and it does so, just at the very point where
God's love was coming out in its fullness. Never did love
and hatred, kindness and enmity
so meet together.
Never was love so requited, and kindness so mocked,
as here.

That very thing, which ought to have softened them,
and drawn out their profoundest sympathies
is that
which calls forth insult, which extinguishes pity, which
steels them against the Sufferer's cry, which rouses all
hell in their bosoms! Towards God they are as devils!

Now is their time for taunt, and insult, and cruelty!
So long as Jesus is going about, doing miracles, they are
afraid to touch Him. But now, when He is dying on a cross,
they may hate and mock Him as they please! Now, when
the lion of the tribe of
Judah is in chains, and expiring of
His wounds
they may trample on Him at will.

O man, such is your heart! Such is the extent of
your enmity to the God in whom you live, and move,
and have your being!

Herein is love; not man loving God, but God loving man;
so loving man as to persist in His great work of grace,
notwithstanding man's utmost hatred and rejection! Here
is God's provision, not only for man's pardon
but for his
fullest joy. The Surety thirsted that we might not thirst!
He drank of the vinegar
that we might not drink it!
He drained the cup of wrath
that we might never taste it!
He was wounded that
we might be healed! What love!
The love of the Just to the unjust;
the love of the Holy to the unholy;
the love of the Heavenly to the earthly;
the love of the Creator to the creature;
the love of Jesus
infinite and divine!

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