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I Cannot be Punished, for Christ was Punished


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

This is an excerpt from a sermon preached by Charles Spurgeon on June 10' 1866 at the Metropolitan Tabernacle. The sermon was entitled, Sin Laid on Jesus. You can find the entire sermon here. I chose this portion of the sermon because of the great comfort it should bring to God’s elect. If Christ was punished, how can I be punished? Atonement is just that. It is atonement for every sin, past, present and future. If Christ bore all then there's nothing left to bear. I cannot be punished again for what Christ was punished for. I pray this helps you worship our Savior this Sunday Morning.

We cannot close the exposition of this verse without just remarking upon the "us" here intended. "The Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all." It is usually conceded by us who hold the doctrine of particular redemption that there was in the death of Christ very much of generality and universality. We believe that the atonement of Christ was infinite in value, and that if Christ had decreed to save every man of woman born, he need not have suffered another pang; there was sufficient in his atonement if he had so willed it to have redeemed the entire race. We believe also that by the death of Christ there is a general and honest invitation given to every creature under heaven in terms like these:—"Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved." We are not prepared, however, to go an inch beyond that. We hold that from the very nature of the satisfaction of Christ it could not have been made for any but for his elect; for Christ either did pay the debts of all men or he did not; if he did pay the debts of all men they are paid, and no man can be called to account for them. If Christ was the surety of every man living, then how in the name of common justice is Christ to be punished, and man punished too? If it be replied that the man would not accept the atonement, then I ask again, Was there a satisfaction given, for if so it was given whether the man accepts it or not, or else satisfaction by itself is powerless until man puts efficacy in it, which is preposterous to suppose. If you take away from us the fact that Christ did really satisfy for those for whom he stood, we cry like Jacob, "If I am bereaved I am bereaved;" you have taken away all that is worth having, and what have you given us in its place? You have given us a redemption, which confessedly does not redeem; you have given us an atonement, which is made equally for the lost in hell and for the saved in heaven; and what is the intrinsic value of such an atonement? If you tell us that Christ made a satisfactory atonement for every one of the human race, we ask you how it was that he made an atonement for those that must have been in the flames of hell thousands of years before he came into this world? My brethren, ours has the advantage of universality in its proclamation and in its bona fide offer, for there is no man living who shall believe in Jesus who shall not be saved by Christ; but it has a greater advantage than this; namely, that those who do believe are saved by it, and they know that Christ made such an atonement for them that for them to be punished for sin would be as much a violation of justice as it would of mercy. O my soul! thou knowest this day that all thy sins were made to meet on Christ, and that he bore the punishment for them all.
"He bore that we might never bear,
His Father's righteous ire."
Here is a rock to stand on, a safe resting-place for those who trust in Jesus. As for you who trust him not, your blood be upon your own heads! If ye trust him not, ye have no part nor lot in this matter, ye shall go down to your own punishment to bear it yourselves; the wrath of God abideth on you; you shall find that the blood of Jesus has made no atonement for your sins. You have rejected the invitation that was given, and put far from you the cross of Christ, and upon your heads the pardoning blood shall never drop, and for you it shall never plead, but you must perish under the law, seeing you refuse to be saved under the gospel.


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