I am eternally grateful for the cross of Christ. That my Lord would be crushed, by the Father, for such sinners as I, is truly a humbling thing. It strips me of all pride. Not only that but it comforts me as well. When I “survey the wondrous cross” it moves my soul. It is easy to become puffed up and become arrogant when I compare myself to the next sinner. But when I stand at the foot of the cross, there is no room for haughtiness. To know that “he was wounded for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities: upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his stripes we are healed” (Is. 53:5), is to remind me that “blessed are the poor in spirit” (Mt. 5:3). That is why it is essential that all Christians need to have the Gospel preached to them, especially pastors.
I am eternally grateful for the cross of Christ and I am so thankful, also, for the men that God has gifted the Church with that have stood faithfully to preaching the cross. One person that has impacted me the most has been Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones. His faithful preaching of the cross is refreshing to my soul. I read him and stand in awe of the cross (more than I already do). I need to hear the Gospel preached to me and Lloyd-Jones brings out the glory of the cross. The following is one of his sermons from Ga. 6:14:
God, in his great love for us, delivered up for us his only begotten dearly beloved son, who had never disobeyed him and had never done any harm to anybody, to the death of the cross. But you notice what he says: ‘He spared not his own Son.’ He means that God had made it very plain and clear that he was going to punish sin by pouring out upon sinners the vials of his wrath. He was going to punish sin in this way- that men should die. The wages of sin is death, and it means endless death and destruction. And what we are told there by the Apostle is that after he laid our sins upon his own Son on that cross, he did not spare him any of the punishment. He did not say, because he is my Son I will modify the punishment. I will hold back a little, I cannot do that to my own Son. I cannot treat him as a sinner. I cannot smite him, I cannot strike him. He did not say that. He did everything he said he would do. He did not keep anything back. He spared not his own Son. He poured out all his divine wrath upon sin, upon his own dearly beloved Son.
So you hear the Son crying out in his agony, ‘My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?’ and he literally died of a broken heart, John tells us that when the soldiers pierced his side with a spear, ‘Fortwith came there out blood and water’ (19:34). The heart had burst and the blood had clotted, and there it was-serum and blood clot, because his heart was literally ruptured by the agony of the wrath of God upon him, and by separation from the face of his Father. That is the love of God. That, my friend, is the love of God to you, a sinner. Not that he looks passively and says: I forgive you though you have done this to my Son. No, he himself smites the Son. He does to the Son what you and I could never do. He pours out his eternal wrath upon him, and hides his face from him. His own dearly beloved, only begotten Son. And he did it in order that we should not receive that punishment and go to hell and spend there an eternity in misery, torment and unhappiness. That is the love of God. And that is the wonder and the marvel and the glory of the cross, God punishing his own Son, in order that he might not have to punish you and me.*
Amazing! Soli Deo Gloria!
For His Glory,
* Lloyd-Jones, Martyn. The Cross ( Illinois: Crossway. 1986), p. 80-81.