In volume 2 of Stephen Charnock’s The Existence and Attributes of God, he has an especially moving section on how God’s goodness in redemption exceeds God’s goodness in creation. I share it with you this week in hopes that it will touch your heart and move you to worship:
He has sought us out when we were lost and ransomed us when we were captives; he has pardoned us when we were condemned and raised us when we were dead. In creation, he reared us from nothing; in redemption, he delivers our understanding from ignorance and vanity, our wills from impotence and obstinacy, and our whole man from a death worse than that nothingness he drew us from by creation. . . . His generosity in the gospel does infinitely surpass what we admire in the works of nature. His goodness in the latter is more astonishing to our belief than his goodness in creation is visible to our eye. There is more of his bounty expressed in that one verse, “God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son” (John 3:16), than there is in the whole volume of the world. . . . In creation, he formed an innocent creature from the dust of the ground; in redemption, he restores a rebellious creature by the blood of his Son. . . .
For the effecting of this, God parts with his dearest treasure, and his Son eclipses his choicest glory; for this, God must be made man, eternity must suffer death, the Lord of angels must weep in a cradle, and the Creator of the world must hang like a slave. He must be in a manger in Bethlehem and die upon a cross on Calvary; unspotted righteousness must be made sin, and unblemished blessedness be made a curse. He was at no other expense than the breath of his mouth to form man. The fruits of the earth could have maintained innocent man without any other cost, but his broken nature cannot be healed without the invaluable medicine of the blood of God.
View Christ in the womb and in the manger, in his weary steps and hungry stomach, in his prostrations in the garden and in his clotted drops of bloody sweat; view his head pierced with a crown of thorns and his face besmeared with the soldiers’ saliva; view him in his march to Calvary, his elevation on the painful cross with his head hanged down, and his side streaming blood; view him pelted with the scoffing of the governors and the derision of the rabble: and see in all this what cost Goodness was at for man’s redemption. In creation his power made the sun to shine upon us, and in redemption his compassion sent a Son to die for us (1255, 1256).