The Cross: A Magnification of God’s Love

The Cross: A Magnification of God’s Love

The Gospel never gets old ... never. How can it, if we really understand our nature’s wicked, depraved, and helpless condition, and the lengths to which Christ went to save us from divine judgement? Jesus was brutally nailed to the cross because of our sins. The Son of God bled and died for us. He willingly received the wrath and curse of God as our righteous substitute. While suffering on the cross for our unrighteous acts, Christ satisfied God’s justice and rescued us from what we deserve, namely, everlasting death in Hell. At Calvary the love of God was magnified beyond human comprehension. At the cross we comprehend, in greater measure, what is the breadth, length, height and depth of the love of God in Christ Jesus.

Keeping the cross ever before us will be our greatest motivator to live a life of God-centered worship and grateful obedience. And this is precisely why the Word faithfully preached and the sacraments rightly administered is so foundational to our sanctification. For in them we are taken by the hand and led to our bleeding and dying Savior every Lord’s Day.

In the Valley of Vision, a collection Puritan prayers published by the Banner of Truth, there is a prayer entitled Love Lustres at Calvary that beautifully expresses the nature and efficacy of Christ’s atoning death on the cross. My prayer is that the focus of our prayers, indeed, of our very lives, would reflect the cross-centered theology of this prayer:

“Enlarge my heart, warm my affections, open my lips, supply words that proclaim ‘Love lustres at Calvary.’ There grace removes my burdens and heaps them on thy Son, made a transgressor, a curse, and sin for me; There the sword of thy justice smote the man, thy Fellow; There thy infinite attributes were magnified, and infinite atonement was made; There infinite punishment was due, and infinite punishment was endured. Christ was all anguish that I might be all joy, cast off that I might be brought in, trodden down as an enemy that I might be welcomed as a friend, surrendered to hell’s worst that I might attain heaven’s best, stripped that I might be clothed, wounded that I might be healed, athirst that I might drink, tormented that I might be comforted, made a shame that I might inherit glory, entered darkness that I might have eternal light. My Savior wept that all tears might be wiped from my eyes, groaned that I might have endless song, endured all pain that I might have unfading health, bore a thorned crown that I might have a glory-diadem, bowed His head that I might uplift mine, experienced reproach that I might receive welcome, closed his eyes in death that I might gaze on unclouded brightness, expired that I might forever live. O Father, who spared not thine only Son that thou mightest spare me, all this transfer thy love designed and accomplished; Help me to adore thee by lips and life. O that my every breath might be ecstatic praise, my every step buoyant with delight, as I see my enemies crushed, Satan baffled, defeated, destroyed, sin buried in the ocean of reconciling blood, hell’s gates closed, heaven’s portals open. Go forth, O conquering God, and show me the cross, mighty to subdue, comfort and save.”

Pastor Jon