Friday, April 22, 2011
good friday thoughts on the cross
"And when they came to the place that is called The Skull, there they crucified him, and the criminals, one on his right and one on his left." (Luke 23:33 ESV)
"And between the throne and the four living creatures and among the elders I saw a Lamb standing, as though it had been slain..." (Revelation 5:6 ESV)
"There stands the mysterious cross—a rock against which the very waves of the curse break. He who so mercifully engaged to direct this judgment against Himself hangs yonder in profound darkness. Still He remains the Morning Star, announcing an eternal Sabbath to the world. Though rejected by Heaven and earth, yet He forms the connecting link between them both and the Mediator of their eternal and renewed amity. Ah, see! His bleeding arms are extended wide; He stretches them out to every sinner. His hands point to the east and west; for He shall gather His children from the ends of the earth. The top of the cross is directed toward the sky; far above the world will its effects extend. Its foot is fixed in the earth; the cross becomes a wondrous tree, from which we reap the fruit of an eternal reconciliation.”
(F.W. Krummacher, "The Crucixion")
“Jesus is the divine curse-remover and creation-renewer. Christ’s substitutionary death on the cross broke the curse of sin and death brought on by Adam’s cosmic rebellion. His bodily resurrection from the dead three days later dealt death its final blow, guaranteeing the eventual renewal of all things ‘in Christ.’
"The dimensions of Christ’s finished work are both individual and cosmic. They range from personal pardon for sin and individual forgiveness to the final resurrection of our bodies and the restoration of the whole world. Now that’s good news—gospel—isn’t it? If we place our trust in the finished work of Christ, sin’s curse will lose its grip on us individually and we will one day be given a renewed creation.
"The gospel isn’t only about reestablishing a two-way relationship between God and us; it also restores a three-way relationship among God, his people, and the created order. Through Christ’s work, our relationship with God is restored while creation itself is renewed. This is what theologians mean when they talk about redemption. They’re describing this profound, far-reaching work by God.”
(Tullian Tchividjian, Unfashionable: Making a Difference in the World by Being Different)
"The Cross is the abyss of wonders, the centre of desires, the school of virtues, the house of wisdom, the throne of love, the theatre of joys, and the place of sorrows; It is the root of happiness, and the gate of Heaven."
(Thomas Traherne, Centuries, #59)
Photo above by Diane Finlayson (morguefile.com).