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.—Lament. 1:12.
Dearest Jesus! I would sit down this evening, and looking up to thee, ask the instructions of thy 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 thou didst drink. And as in all the afflictions of thy people thou wert afflicted, added to all thine own personal sufferings, theirs also thou didst sustain. And where shall I begin, dear Lord, to mark down the vast volume of thy sorrow? From the manger to the cross, every path was suffering. Indeed thou art, by way of emphasis, called “the Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief.” Thorns and thistles the earth is made to bring forth, to human nature at large: but as in taking away this curse thou becamest a curse for thy people, none but thyself, dearest Jesus, was ever crowned with thorns; as if to testify the supremacy of thy sufferings. And did all our curses indeed fall upon thee? Was all the Father’s wrath, in the full vials of his anger against sin, made to light upon thee? Didst thou wade through all, and sustain all, and boat all, on purpose that thy redeemed might be delivered? Did great drops of blood in a cold night (when a fire of coals became needful to warm thy disciples) fall from thy sacred body, from the agony of thy 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 amazement and exceeding sorrow, and the cry of his soul issue forth of 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? Come hither, ye careless and unconcerned; come hither, ye fools that make a mock of sin; come hither, ye drunkards and defiled of every description and character, whose cups of licentiousness and mirth have mingled for him the wormwood and the gall: behold Jesus, and say, is it nothing to you, all ye that pass by? My soul, bring the question home to thine own heart, and never give over the solemn meditation. It is, indeed, to thee everything that is momentous and eternally interesting. Yes! precious Jesus! every wound of thine speaks; every feature, every groan, every cry, pleads for me, and with me. If I forget thee, O thou bleeding Lamb! let my right hand forget her cunning. If I do not remember thee, 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!