About Me

My photo
Evangelist, Baptist, Husband, Father, Mid-30's.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

See It and Be Glad

I should be a asleep right now, but as I prayed over these past few weeks and my evangelistic endeavors, I've been horrified to see a serious lack in the highest theological thought in scripture; the crucifixion of Jesus. The Apostle Paul said this was his sole endeavor, and that it is the message we preach that comes with power (1 Corinthians 2:2, 1:23, 1:18). As I thought about it, my mind instantly went to the crucifixion passage which impacts me the most; way back in the Old Testament. It is something I must put to paper before I can let this day come to a close.
When the humble see it, they will be glad;
you who seek God, let your hearts revive.
 ~ Psalm 69:32
This is the conclusion to an utterly terrific psalm, one so incomprehensible in its pain and sacrifice that I expect it will take us an eternity to understand the God here described. This Psalm recounts an innocent man oppressed by evil men for no reason (v. 4), but worse, crushed by God for those evil men's sins (v. 9), paying a price higher than any sacrifice ever made, before and after (v. 31), and this is why it is so terrifying.

Beloved, stop for a moment, the man on the cross is God the Son (v. 21, John 19:28-29), despised by men, afflicted by God. Now look and be glad. Your King is shamed, crushed, humiliated, infinitely punished, wrongly accused, disbelieved, abandoned by God and friends, scorned by the very ones he came to save. See it and be glad.

See it and be glad? Wouldn't we expect that weeping would be a better response? On that day, "there followed him a great multitude of the people and of women who were mourning and lamenting for him. But turning to them Jesus said, "Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for me, but weep for yourselves and for your children (Luke 23:27-28)..."

For you see, Jesus did not go unwilling to the cross, he was not the victim of sin, but a willing and capable sacrifice. He came for this purpose, to bear witness to the truth (John 18:37), he has ordained history for this very moment (John 12:27). What should we say? Save him from the cross?

No, we rather look at that hideous cross and the Lord of Glory upon it, and we are glad. Glad for two reasons, that, one, we have a God who hates sin and the suffering, death, and destruction caused by sin, and, two, that we have a God who loves sinners to such an extent to save them from his hatred.

And so we see our Lord and God lifted up on a cross, declaring to the universe that God is righteous and a Saviour (Isaiah 45:21), and besides him, there is no other. Our sin is heinous and costly and none of us can pay for even a single one. A single lie will ensure we are punished forever in Hell for our rebellion against the God of Truth. If there were any other way to be saved, then Jesus Christ died in vain, and he would not be able to say that he is the way, the truth, and the life, and no-one comes to the Father but by him.

Sin requires an infinite payment, and apart from an infinite Saviour, our souls were counted loss. So we look at the cross and are glad, glad that we have such a payment, such a ransom, as to save us from the power of sin and death, and transfer us into the kingdom of God.

And we look at the man, who for the joy set before him, endured the cross, despised the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God (Hebrews 12:2), and are glad that he is our God, the God of love and of truth, of mercy and of righteousness, who perfectly reconciled in his body of flesh sinful men and holy God, and has put away all malice towards those who humble themselves before him and trust in his holy name.

Beloved, I have endeavored to show you Jesus Christ and him crucified, that you may know the power of this message, made perfect in his resurrection. If there is any lack of gladness in you towards the events which he endured on Calvary, please search your heart, and know that your King endured these willingly, prepared from eternity past for such work, to make known his Father's justice and grace. Look at the cross with nothing but gladness, the means by which God revives the deadman's heart, and be glad that you have a God who loves righteousness and hates wickedness, who is anointed with gladness today, for the work he accomplished long ago.

No comments: