Our Suffering Substitute
By: C. H. Spurgeon
“For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God,” I Peter 3:18.
The sufferings are finished. The debt is paid. Justice is satisfied. The law is magnified. Righteousness is established. For all His people’s sin Christ has made a complete atonement, and for their justification He has risen from the dead.
Now, poor trembling seeker, what do you say to this? Can you now rest on Christ? God is satisfied with His Son’s atoning sacrifice: can you be dissatisfied with it? God thinks Jesus enough: can you think Him too little? Did the Lord, the King, against whom you have offended, accept the reconciliation; and do you unbelievingly, and distrustfully say, “I fear it is not sufficient?” Cast away guilty fears, I beseech you.
May the blessed Comforter enable you now to say—
“Just as I am—without one plea
But that Thy blood was shed for me.
And that Thou bidd’st me come to Thee,
O Lamb of God, I come!”
You are to be saved by faith in Christ, who “hath once suffered for sins,” and in Christ alone. Do not seek to make a savior of your own feelings. Do not think you must experience this, or that, before you come unto Jesus. Christ wants no preparation from you. Salvation consists in simply casting yourself down on Christ. Cast yourself down on your very face in the dust before Him, and once for all have done with your own wretched self. Rely not on anything you can do, or think, or say, or know; rest alone on Jesus only, and you are saved. Be you who you may, and what you may, though you were the very worst sinner out of Hell, be your soul the blackest, yet if you will trust in Christ who “hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust,” you shall be saved.
Trembling sinner, look to Jesus, and you are saved. Do you say, “My sins are many?” His atonement is wondrous.
Do you cry, “My heart is hard?” Jesus can soften it.
Do you exclaim, “Alas, I am so unworthy?” Jesus loves the unworthy.
Do you feel, “I am so vile?” It is the evil Jesus came to save.
Down with you, sinner; down with yourself, and up with Christ, who suffered for your sins upon Calvary’s cross. Turn your eye thither; see Jesus only. He suffers. He bleeds. He dies. He is buried. He rises again. He ascends on high. Trust Him, and you are safe. Give up all other trusts, and rely on Jesus alone, alone on Jesus, and you shall pass from death unto life.
This is the sure sign, the certain evidence of the Spirit’s indwelling of the Father’s election, of the Son’s redemption, when the soul is brought simply and wholly to rest and trust in Jesus Christ, who “hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God.”
May the Holy Spirit bless these words, and send them home with comfort to many hearts, for our Lord Jesus Christ’s sake! Amen.