Nor must we overlook the grand source of encouragement to a returning soul, – that which springs from the cross of Christ. But for a crucified Savior, there could be no possible return to God; in no other way could he consistently with the holiness and rectitude of the Divine government, with what he owes to himself as a just and holy God, receive a poor wandering, returning sinner.
Mere repentance and humiliation for, and confession of, sin, could entitle the soul to no act of pardon.
The obedience and death of the Lord Jesus laid the foundation, and opened the way for the exercise of this great and sovereign act of grace. The cross of Jesus displays the most awful exhibition of God’s hatred of sin, and at the same time the most august manifestation of his readiness to pardon it. Pardon, full and free, is written out in every drop of blood that is seen, is proclaimed in every groan that is heard, and shines in the very prodigy of mercy that closes the solemn scene upon the cross.
O blessed door of return, open and never shut, to the wanderer from God! how glorious, how free, how accessible! Here the sinful, the vile, the guilty, the unworthy, the poor, the penniless, may come. Here, too, the weary spirit may bring its burden, the broken spirit its sorrow, the guilty spirit its sin, the backsliding spirit its wandering. All are welcome here.
The death of Jesus was the opening and the emptying of the full heart of God; it was the outgushing of that ocean of infinite mercy… it was God showing how he could love a poor, guilty sinner. What more could he have done than this?
Octavius Winslow 1841