It would be spectacular and amazing … if some king’s son were to appear in a beggar’s home to nurse him in his illness, wash off his filth and do everything else the beggar would have to do. Would this not be a profound humility? Any spectator or any beneficiary of this honor would feel impelled to admit that he had seen or experienced something unusual and extraordinary, something magnificent.
And yet the love of the Son of God for us is of such magnitude that the greater the filth and stench of our sins, the more he befriends us, the more he cleanses us, relieving us of all our misery and of the burden of all our sins and placing them upon his own back.
Whenever the devil declares: “You are a sinner!” Christ interposes: “I will reverse the order; I will be a sinner, and you are to go scotfree.” Who can thank our God enough for this mercy? —Martin Luther, Luther’s Works 22, 166-167