“If a prince, passing by an execution, should take the malefactor’s chains, and suffer in his stead, this would be a wonderful instance indeed.”
The deed would ring through all history, and be quoted as an amazing instance of heroic pity; and well deserved would be all the words of praise and sonnets of admiration which would record and eulogize it. Yet our Lord Jesus did this and infinitely more for those who were not merely malefactors, but enemies to his own throne and person. This is a wonder of wonders! But, alas, it meets with small praise. The most of men around us have heard of it and treated it as an idle tale, and multitudes more regard it as a pious legend, worthy to be repeated as a venerable fable, and then forgotten as an unpractical myth. Even those who know, believe, and admire, are yet cold in their emotions with regard to the story of the cross. Herein is love which ought to set our hearts on fire, and yet we scarcely maintain a smouldering spark of enthusiasm. Lord Jesus, be more real to our apprehensions, and so be more completely the Master of our affections.
—Charles H. Spurgeon
Flowers from a Puritan’s Garden (Passmore & Alabaster, 1883).