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The Death of Jesus, An Act of Worship

Altar Dr. C.N. Willborn recently pointed out this very powerful meditation by James Henley Thornwell on how the death of Jesus was an act of supreme worship. Thornwell explained:
The moral grandeur of the death of Jesus is not a  little enhanced when it is apprehended in its distinctive character as an act of worship. If we consider it exclusively in the light of a judicial sentence, and detach from the Saviour those active sentiments of piety and religion which make him a doer rather than a sufferer, we may understand the principles of moral government which underlie the atonement, but we shall fail to appreciate the dignity and glory of Jesus. It is not right to consider Him as the helpless victim of inexorable wrath; and all the imputations upon the goodness and clemency of God, which the malice of the human heart has made His vicarious punishment the pretext of suggesting, are at once dispelled when we enter into His own mind, and see the spirit of devotion in which He presented His soul as an offering for sin....We dare not entertain the thought, even for an instance, that the Father is harsh or vindictive, or that a cloud obscures the benevolence of His nature, when the very circumstances which are most revolting in the tragedy of Calvary are elements of a worship which the Son delighted to render, and felt that the Father was glorious in accepting. Considered as an act of worship, there is a majestic awe, a moral sublimity thrown around the death of Jesus, which fails to be impressed when attention is exclusively confined to the legal principles which made it indispensable to the pardon of the guilty. It is invested with a sacredness which makes us pause and adore. Never was there such a doxology as when Jesus died, and the whole work of redemption is a grand litany which has no parallel in the history of the universe. There can be no wonder that the Father should love the Son.  Such worshippers are not to be dismissed from the sanctuary, nor such homage lightly esteemed. Never, never was there displayed before, and never, never will there be displayed again, such piety as that which burned in the bosom of Jesus when He laid down His life of Himself.1
1. James Henley Thornwell The Collected Writings of JHT2:418-19

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