By Nancy Guthrie
In the collection of writings about the incarnation, Come, Thou Long Expected Jesus, I included an edited version of a sermon by Charles Spurgeon that explored all of the places where there was “no room” for Jesus. If you are like me, when you read that piece, you can almost hear Spurgeon passionately preaching from his London pulpit. More significantly you want to “make room” for Jesus in every place of your own heart and life, “preparing the way of the Lord.” I have a similar response in reading the Spurgeon sermon I adapted for Jesus, Keep Me Near the Cross called “Then Did They Spit in His Face.” Reading through it causes me to feel the horror and heinousness of humanity spitting into the face of God as we did when the religious leaders of Jesus’ day spit in the face of Jesus.
To any of us who would be quick to say, “I was not there; I did not spit in his face” Spurgeon forces us to see the subtle ways we, too, spit in the face of God. “The mere act of spitting from the mouth seems little compared with this sin of spitting with the very heart and soul and pouring contempt upon Christ by choosing some sin in preference to him. Yet, alas! How many are thus still spitting in Christ’s face.”
He also invites us to courageously share in the suffering of Jesus saying, “Let us say to ourselves, ‘Then did they spit in his face. What, then, if they also spit I mine?’ . . . See, that wretch is about to spit in Christ’s face! Put your cheek forward, that you may catch that spittle upon your face, that it fall not upon him again, for as he was put to such terrible shame, every one who has been redeemed with his precious blood ought to count it an honor to be a partaker of the shame, if by any means we may screen him from being further despised and rejected of men.”
NANCY GUTHRIE has a passion for sharing God’s Word through her growing national and international Bible-teaching ministry. She has worked in the Christian publishing industry for more than two decades and is the author of Holding On to Hope, The One-Year Book of Hope, Hoping for Something Better, and Crossway’s Come, Thou Long-Expected Jesus.