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A Soul in Agony

By Robert Haldane

      "For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death" (Rom. 8:2).

      When sin was condemned or punished in the Son of God, to suppose that He felt nothing more than bodily pain, would be to conclude that He had less confidence in God than many martyrs who have gone to death cheerfully and without fear. The extremity of the pain He suffered when He said in the garden, 'My soul is sorrowful even unto death,' was the sentiment of the wrath of God against sin, from which martyrs felt themselves delivered. For the curse of the law is principally spiritual, namely, privation of communion with God in the sense of His wrath. Jesus Christ, therefore, was made a curse for us, as the Apostle says, Gal. 3:13, proving it by the declaration, 'Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree. ' For this punishment of the cross was the figure and symbol of the spiritual curse of God. As in His body, then, He suffered this most accursed punishment, so likewise in His soul He suffered those pains that are most insupportable, such as are suffered by those finally condemned. But that was only for a short time, the infinity of His person rendering that suffering equivalent to that of an infinity of time. Such, then, was the grief which He experienced when on the cross He cried, 'My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken Me?' What forsaking was this, unless that for a time God left Him to feel the weight of His indignation against sin? This feeling is the sovereign evil of the soul, in which consists the griefs of eternal death; as, on the other hand, the sovereign good of the soul, and that in which the happiness of eternal life consists, is to enjoy gracious communion with God.

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