“Is it nothing to you, all ye that pass by? behold, and see if there be any sorrow like unto my sorrow, which is done unto me, wherewith the LORD hath afflicted me in the day of his fierce anger.”
Dearest Jesus, I would sit down this evening and, looking up to You, ask the instructions of Your blessed Spirit to unfold some of the many tender inquiries wrapped up in this question of my Lord’s
Whatever the mournful prophet’s views were of the Church’s sorrow when he wrote his book of Lamentations, surely sorrow never had its full potion poured out but in the cup of trembling which You did drink. And as in all the afflictions of Your people You were afflicted, added to all Your own personal sufferings, theirs also You did sustain.
And where shall I begin, dear Lord, to mark down the amazing history of Your sorrow? From the manger to the cross, every path was suffering. Indeed You are, by way of emphasis, called the “man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief” (Isa. 53:3). Thorns and thistles the earth is made to bring forth to human nature at large; but, as in taking away this curse You became a curse for Your people, none but Yourself, dearest Jesus, was ever crowned with thorns-as if to testify the supremacy of Your sufferings.
And did all our curses indeed fall upon You? Was all the Father’s wrath in the full vials of His anger against sin made to light upon You? Di You wade through all, sustain all, and bear all on purpose that Your redeemed might be delivered? Dis great drops of blood in a cold night (when a fire of coals became needful to warm Your disciples) fall from Your sacred body from the agony of Your soul’s suffering? Did the Son of God-Who from all eternity lay in His bosom, the only begotten and dearly Beloved of His affection-indeed die under amazement7 and exceeding sorrow, and the cry of His soul issue from His Father’s desertion? Were these among the sorrows of Jesus? And is it nothing to you, all ye that pass by?
Is it nothing to you, O ye that by disregard and indifference would “crucify…the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame” (Heb. 6:6)?
Come hither, ye careless and unconcerned. Come hither, ye fools that make mock of sin. Come hither, ye drunkards and defiled of every description and character, whose cups of licentiousness8 and mirth have mingled for Him the wormwood and the gall. Behold Jesus and listen: “Is it nothing to you, all ye that pass by?”
My soul bring the question home to your own heart, and never give over the solemn meditation. It is indeed to you everything that is momentous and eternally interesting.9 Yes, precious Jesus! Every wound of Yours speaks; every feature, every groan, every cry pleads for me and with me. If I forget You, O bleeding Lamb, let my right hand forget her cunning. If I do not remember You. Let my tongue cleave to the roof of my mouth: yea, if I prefer not the solemn meditation of Gethsemane and Calvary above my chief joy.
7 amazement-perplexity. 8 Licentiousness- lawlessness; lack of restraint (here, toward sin). 9 Interesting-important
Robert Hawker (1753-1827)