A Humble Confession
All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all.
Here a confession of sin is shared by all the elect people of God. They have all fallen, and therefore, in one voice, from the first who entered heaven to the last who shall arrive they all say, “All we like sheep have gone astray.”
This confession is not only unanimous, it is also special and particular: “We have turned every one to his own way.” All are sinful, but each individual faces his or her own peculiar sinfulness, which is not found in someone else. It is the mark of genuine repentance that while it naturally associates itself with other penitents, it also takes up a position of loneliness. “We have turned every one to his own way” is a confession that each individual had sinned against light peculiar to himself or sinned with an aggravation that he could not perceive in others.
This confession is unreserved; there is not a word to detract from its force, nor a syllable by way of excuse. This confession bids farewell to every plea of self-justification. It is the declaration of those who are consciously guilty—guilty with aggravations, guilty without excuse: they stand with their weapons of rebellion broken in pieces and cry, “All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way.”
Yet we hear no mournful wailings attending this confession of sin; for the next sentence makes it almost a song. “The LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all.” It is the most grievous sentence of the three, but it overflows with comfort. How strange that where misery was concentrated, mercy reigned; where sorrow reached her climax, weary souls find rest. The Savior bruised is the healing of bruised hearts.
Consider how the humble confession gives way to assured confidence by simply gazing at Christ on the cross!
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