Divine holiness is best exhibited in the cross of Jesus. Not hell itself, as dreadful and eternal as is its suffering — the undying worm, the unquenchable fire, the smoke of the torment that goes up forever and ever — affords such a solemn and impressive spectacle of the holiness and justice of God in the punishment of sin — as is presented in the death of God’s beloved Son!
An eminent Puritan writer thus strikingly puts it:
“Not all the vials of judgement that have or shall be poured out upon this wicked world; nor the flaming furnace of a sinner’s conscience; nor the irrevocable sentence pronounced against the rebellious devils; nor the groans of the damned creatures give such a demonstration of God’s hatred of sin, as the wrath of God let loose upon His Son!”
Never did Divine holiness appear more beautiful and lovely — than at the time our Savior’s countenance was most marred in the midst of His dying groans. This He Himself acknowledges in that penitential psalm, when God turned His smiling face away from Him, and thrust His sharp knife of justice into His heart, which forced that terrible cry from Him, “My God, my God, why have You forsaken Me? Why are You so far from saving Me, so far from the words of My groaning? Yet You are enthroned as the Holy One!”
Such an impressive view of God’s holiness, the angels in heaven never before beheld — not even when they saw the non-elect spirits hurled from the heights of glory down to the bottomless pit, to be reserved in chains of darkness and woe forever!
Jesus was the innocent One, dying for the guilty ones — the holy One, dying for the sinful ones!