“How do the saints hold communion with Christ as to their acceptation with God?
They hearken to the voice of Christ calling them to Him with their burden, “Come unto Me, all ye that are weary and heavy laden.’ ‘
‘Come with your burdens; come, thou poor soul, with thy guilt of sin.’ Why? What to do?
‘Why, this is mine,’ saith Christ, ‘this agreement I made with My Father, that I should come, and take thy sins, and bear them away: they were my lot. Give Me thy burden, give Me all thy sins. Thou knowest not what to do with them; I know how to dispose of them well enough, so that God shall be glorified, and thy soul delivered.”
They lay down their sins at the cross of Christ, upon His shoulders.
This is faith’s great and bold venture upon the grace, faithfulness, and truth of God, to stand by the cross and say:
“Ah! He is bruised for my sins, and wounded for my transgressions, and the chastisement of my peace is upon Him. He is thus made sin for me. Here I give up my sins to Him that is able to bear them, to undergo them. He requires it of my hands, that I should be content that He should undertake for them; and that I heartily consent unto.”
This is every day’s work; I know not how any peace can be maintained with God without it. If it be the work of souls to receive Christ, as made sin for us, we must receive Him as one that takes our sins upon Him.
Not as though He died any more, or suffered any more; but as the faith of the saints of old made that present and done before their eyes which had not yet come to pass (Heb. 11:1), so faith now makes that present which was accomplished and past many generations ago.
This it is to know Christ crucified.”
–John Owen, The Works of John Owen, Volume 2: Communion With God (ed. William H. Goold; Carlisle, PA: Banner of Truth, 1850-53/1997), 194.