My husband has been preaching consecutively through the book of Psalms during our mid-week service now for the past few years. This past week, he preached on Psalm 103. In the handout for the sermon, he included a powerful piece focusing on the theme of Isaiah 53.5 by James Smith entitled, “Looking Upon the Pierced One” (1860).
For me, it assaulted my pride and brought a sickening sense in the pit of my stomach of the horror of the reality that, as much as I might like to look down my nose at the human instruments God used to put Jesus on the cross, I confess that in my flesh I am really not entirely different than they:
“Pierced! WHO pierced Him? WE did–and pierced Him to the heart! Nor were we satisfied with piercing Him once–for we have pierced Him often, and pierced Him through and through! Our unbelief pierces Him; our ingratitude pierces Him; the coldness of our love pierces him; our forgetfulness pierces Him; our preferring the world to Him pierces Him; our disobedience to His Word pierces Him; and our doubting of His love pierces Him!
It was WE who pierced Him on Calvary! We put the nails and the hammer into the hands of the executioners! We put the spear into the hand of the Roman soldier! Yes, it was we who … gathered thorns, picked out the sharpest, formed them into a mock crown, thrust it on His head, and with the staff beat the thorns into His temples!
See, see, there He hangs! Pierced in His head, hands, feet, and side–pierced FOR us–pierced BY us! Look, my soul, at the pierced One!“