[It is as if God were saying]: “There is the furnace into which you are to be cast, if they are to be saved; either they must perish, or you must endure this for them… What will you do? Is your love such that you will go on? Will you cast yourself into this dreadful furnace of wrath?” And he did not say within himself, “Why should I, who am so great and glorious a person, infinitely more honorable than all the angels of heaven, why should I go to plunge myself into such dreadful, amazing torments… for them who can never requite me for it… for them who have no love to me?”…But on the contrary, his love held out, and he resolved… to take the cup and drink it.” – Jonathan Edwards
[Two] things show the infinity of his sufferings:
1. Who it was who forsook him. Not his people Israel — not Judas the betrayer — not Peter his denier… Ah! It was his Father and his God. Other things little affected him compared with that. The passers-by wagged their heads — he spoke not. The chief priests mocked him — he murmured not… [But] God brought darkness… over his soul. Ah — this was infinite agony: “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?”
2. What God did to him… Dear friends, let us look into this ocean through which Christ waded. (1) He was without any comforts of God — no feeling that God loved him — no feeling that God pitied him — no feeling that God supported him. God was his sun before — now that sun became all darkness. Not a smile from his Father — not a kind look — not a kind word. (2) He was without a God — he was as if he had no God. All that God had been to him before, was taken from him now. He was Godless — deprived of his God. (3) He had the feeling of the condemned, when the Judge says: “Depart from me, ye cursed,” “who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of his power.” He felt that God said the same to him. Ah! this is the hell which Christ suffered. Dear friends, I feel like a little child casting a stone into some deep ravine in the mountain side, and listening to hear its fall — but listening all in vain… it is too deep — the longest line cannot fathom it. The ocean of Christ’s sufferings is unfathomable… He was forsaken in the [place] of sinners. If you close with him as your surety, you will never be forsaken. From the broken bread and the poured out wine seems to rise the cry: “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” For me — for me. – Robert Murray M’Cheyne
All the prophets did foresee in spirit, that Christ should become the greatest transgressor, murderer, adulterer, thief, rebel, blasphemer, etc. that ever was… for he being made a sacrifice, for the sins of the whole world, is not now an innocent person and without sins… Our most merciful Father… sent his only Son into the world and laid upon him the sins of all men, saying, “Be thou Peter that denier; Paul that persecutor, blasphemer, and cruel oppressor; David that adulterer…” Here now cometh the Law and saith: “I find him to be a sinner… therefore let him die upon the cross…” – Martin Luther
Adam before he fell was righteous in the sight of God, but he was still under the possibility of becoming unrighteous. Those who have been saved by the Lord Jesus Christ not only are righteous in the sight of God but they are beyond the possibility of becoming unrighteous. In their case, the probation is over… because Christ has stood it for them.
When we believe in him, we are in a special relationship to him — he is our “legal proxy,” our “federal head,” our “covenant representative” our “forensic substitute.” This means that whatever he achieves and loses we by definition also achieve or lose, as if we had done all he had done. In two major ways, there is a legal linkage between Christians and Christ.
1) Then, on the cross, our sins were imputed to him. He died and was punished for them, and now we are as free from them as if we had paid them, in fact — we are as free from them as if we had already spent eternity in hell, for he did!
2) And now, when we believe, he stands in heaven “on our behalf,,” and his righteous life is what the Father sees when he sees us. So not only are our sins imputed to him, his righteousness is imputed to us. Thus we are as honored and loved by the Father as if we had done all the wonderful deeds of love and courage and had accomplished the perfect record of faithfulness that Jesus did. This “double imputation” doctrine is taught in Romans 5:12-19. – J.Gresham Machen
Nothing so hurts the natural man’s pride as the cross of Christ. How does it do this?… [The cross] says that we are all equally failures. …Have you ever felt the offense of the cross, my friend? Have you resented being told that your condition is such that nothing you can do can ever put it right? Have you been able to hear that without feeling the offense? If you have, I would say that you have never heard it properly… The modern man, the natural man, hates this. It is the opposite of his cult of self-expression and belief in himself, of working himself up psychologically, of trusting himself, and of trusting his own innate powers. Modern man considers himself come of age, able to stand on his own feet, with all his tremendous knowledge. But here is something that demolishes it all. The cross says that it is useless and of no value at all. That is the offense of the cross.
The Christian, by contrast, is one who glories in the cross… He does not merely say that he admires it… he does not merely accept its message intellectually… he rejoices in it. The word that the apostle actually uses [in Galatians 6:14] is a very strong one. He says, ‘God forbid that I should boast, save in the cross of Christ…’ It is a matter of boasting… It means that to him there is nothing which comes anywhere near it in significance. It means that he rests everything upon this, that this means all to him, that he is what he is because of this. – D.M. Lloyd-Jones