“An infinite price has been paid”

Johann Gerhard, a 17th century pastor and theologian, has written some of the most profound meditations that I have found.  This is from his Sacred Meditations VII. , “Concerning the fruit of the Lord’s passion”:

He has been judged in order to free us from the judgment of God. He has been prosecuted as a criminal so that we criminals may be pardoned. He has been scourged by godless hands to take away from us the scourge of the devil. He called out in pain in order to save us from eternal wailing. He poured out tears so that he could wipe away our tears. He has died for us to live. He felt the pains of hell through and through, so that we might never feel them. He was humiliated in order to bring forth the medicine for our pride; was crowned with thorns, in order to obtain for us the heavenly crown.42 He has suffered at the hands of all so that he might furnish salvation for all. He was darkened in death so that we would live in the light of heavenly glory. He heard disgust and contempt so that we might hear the angelic jubilation in heaven.

Do not despair then, O faithful soul. You have offended the infinite Good with your sins, but an infinite price has been paid. You ought to be judged for your sins, but the Son of God has already been judged for the sins of the whole world, which He received in Himself. Your sins ought to be punished, but God already punished them in His Son. The wounds from your sins are great, but more precious is the balm of the blood of Christ. Moses pronounces a curse against you (Deuteronomy 27:26), because you have not kept everything that has been written in the book of the law, but Christ has been made a curse for you (Galatians 3:13). The handwriting has been written against you in the court of heaven, but Christ’s blood has deleted that (Colossians 2:14).

Therefore, your passion, O loving Christ, is my ultimate refuge.

About Gene Veith

Professor of Literature at Patrick Henry College, the Director of the Cranach Institute at Concordia Theological Seminary, a columnist for World Magazine and TableTalk, and the author of 18 books on different facets of Christianity & Culture.

  • http://www.stjohnswoodlake.com Mike Berg

    You may be interested… The link you put on this entry uses a new translation of Sacred Meditations by a pastor in Michigan named Wade Johnston. He has started a small publishing venture that includes this translation of “Sacred Meditations” and also some of his own work. He has written a historical fiction novel of Paul Gerhardt (not published) and a thriller about Lutheran pastors and terrorism named “Even Death”. If anybody is interested, the website is http://www.magdeburgpress.com.

  • http://www.stjohnswoodlake.com Mike Berg

    You may be interested… The link you put on this entry uses a new translation of Sacred Meditations by a pastor in Michigan named Wade Johnston. He has started a small publishing venture that includes this translation of “Sacred Meditations” and also some of his own work. He has written a historical fiction novel of Paul Gerhardt (not published) and a thriller about Lutheran pastors and terrorism named “Even Death”. If anybody is interested, the website is http://www.magdeburgpress.com.

  • http://theoldadam.wordpress.com/ Steve Martin

    Thanks, Gene.

    Thanks, Mike.

    Thank you, Lord Jesus!

  • http://theoldadam.wordpress.com/ Steve Martin

    Thanks, Gene.

    Thanks, Mike.

    Thank you, Lord Jesus!

  • EGK

    “Your passion, O loving Christ, is my ultimate refuge.”

    Amen and amen.

  • EGK

    “Your passion, O loving Christ, is my ultimate refuge.”

    Amen and amen.

  • fws

    THIS stuff. right. here. is exactly why I am so grateful to be an Evangelical Lutheran.

    Everything is all about Jesus. Period. No added filler or preservatives.

  • fws

    THIS stuff. right. here. is exactly why I am so grateful to be an Evangelical Lutheran.

    Everything is all about Jesus. Period. No added filler or preservatives.

  • Peter Leavitt

    Perry Miller regarded Gerhard a better writer than Luther, a better theologian. Miller required students to read Gerhard’s meditations in Latin, as he thought the English translation did less justice to his profound, clear, and beautiful writing.

    The irony of all this is that Miller, an alcoholic, claimed to be a religious agnostic, though he is perhaps the best scholar that America has produced on the form of the Reformation in Puritan America.

  • Peter Leavitt

    Perry Miller regarded Gerhard a better writer than Luther, a better theologian. Miller required students to read Gerhard’s meditations in Latin, as he thought the English translation did less justice to his profound, clear, and beautiful writing.

    The irony of all this is that Miller, an alcoholic, claimed to be a religious agnostic, though he is perhaps the best scholar that America has produced on the form of the Reformation in Puritan America.

  • P.L.Pedersen

    Johann Gerhard’s writing is so powerful and full of grace that just a sentence can like an arrow aimed straight at the heart hit its mark. Sacred Meditations is a treasure of the church.

  • P.L.Pedersen

    Johann Gerhard’s writing is so powerful and full of grace that just a sentence can like an arrow aimed straight at the heart hit its mark. Sacred Meditations is a treasure of the church.

  • Helen F

    If anyone would want to know what the Lutheran teaching
    is on the proper distinction between law and gospel and
    wants it condensed form, here it is in Gerhard!

  • Helen F

    If anyone would want to know what the Lutheran teaching
    is on the proper distinction between law and gospel and
    wants it condensed form, here it is in Gerhard!


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