497. The Procession of Sorrow — John 19:16

“And they took Jesus, and led him away.”—John 19:16.

Beloved, can you say he carried your sin? As you look at the cross upon his shoulders does it represent your sin? Oh! raise the question, and be not satisfied unless you can answer it most positively in the affirmative. – C.H.S.

Main Points:
1. Christ as led forth – 5:29
2. Christ carrying his Cross – 20:14
3. Christ and his mourners – 31:16
4. Christ’s fellow-sufferers – 37:37
5. Christ’s warning question – 40:01


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Oh! I pray you, lend your ears to such faint words as I can utter on a subject all too high for me, the march of the world’s Maker along the way of his great sorrow; your Redeemer traversing the rugged path of suffering, along which he went with heaving heart and heavy footsteps, that he might pave a royal road of mercy for his enemies.

What learn we here as we see Christ led forth? Do we not see here the truth of that which was set forth in shadow by the scape-goat? Did not the high-priest bring the scape-goat, and put both his hands upon its head, confessing the sins of the people, that thus those sins might be laid upon the goat? Then the goat was led away by a fit man into the wilderness, and it carried away the sins of the people, so that if they were sought for, they could not be found. Now we see Jesus brought before the priests and rulers, who pronounce him guilty; God himself imputes our sins to him; he was made sin for us; and, as the substitute for our guilt, bearing our sin upon his shoulders—for that cross was a sort of representation in wood of our guilt and doom—we see the great Scape-goat led away by the appointed officers of justice. Bearing upon his back the sin of all his people, the offering goes without the camp. Beloved, can you say he carried your sin? As you look at the cross upon his shoulders does it represent your sin? Oh! raise the question, and be not satisfied unless you can answer it most positively in the affirmative. There is one way by which you can tell whether he carried your sin or not. Hast thou laid thy hand upon his head, confessed thy sin, and trusted in him? Then thy sin lies not on thee; not one single ounce or drachma of it lies on thee; it has all been transferred by blessed imputation to Christ, and he bears it on his shoulder in the form of yonder heavy cross. What joy, what satisfaction this will give if we can sing—
“My soul looks back to see
The burden thou didst bear,
When hastening to the accursed tree,
And knows her guilt was there!”
Do not let the picture vanish till you have satisfied yourselves once for all that Christ was here the substitute for you.

Christ did but transfer to Simon the outward frame, the mere tree; but the curse of the tree, which was our sin and its punishment, rested on Jesus’ shoulders still. Dear friend, if you think that you suffer all that a Christian can suffer; if all God’s billows roll over you, yet, remember, there is not one drop of wrath in all your sea of sorrow. Jesus took the wrath; Jesus carried the sin; and now all that you endure is but for his sake, that you may be conformed unto his image, and may aid in gathering his people into his family.

…when we look at the sufferings of Christ, we ought to sorrow deeply for the souls of all unregenerate men and women. Remember, dear friends, that what Christ suffered for us, these unregenerate ones must suffer for themselves, except they put their trust in Christ. The woes which broke the Saviour’s heart must crush theirs. Either Christ must die for me, or else I must die for myself the second death; if he did not carry the curse for me, then on me must it rest for ever and ever.

No sufferings of ours have anything to do with the atonement of sin. No blood but that which He has spilt, no groans but those which came from His heart, no suffering but that which was endured by Him, can ever make a recompense for sin. Shake off the thought, any of you who suppose that God will have pity on you because you have endured affliction. You must consider Jesus, and not yourself; turn your eye to Christ, the great substitute for sinners, but never dream of trusting in yourselves.

Charles Haddon Spurgeon


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