Thursday, October 22, 2009

Wonderful Cross

The death of our Lord Jesus Christ must have appeared to his apostles to be an unmitigated misfortune. No doubt they conceived that it would be the death of the cause, a heavy blow, and a deep discouragement. Smite the shepherd, and the sheep will be scattered. Strike the head, and what shall become of the members? But our Lord instructed his disciples that this, which seemed so dreary a circumstance, was really the most hopeful of all the points of his history. He assured them that by his death he would totally defeat the powers of darkness. “Now is the judgment of this world: now shall the prince of this world be cast out.” He comforted them yet further by the declaration that his crucifixion, instead of driving men away from his doctrine, would give to that doctrine a peculiar lustre and a special charm.

The cross of Christ, with all its ignominy and shame, is no hindrance to his heavenly teaching but is, in fact, a matchless loadstone by which men are attracted to it. There is such a thing as “the offense of the cross,” and that offense has not ceased; but still, listen to the Master’s words, “I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me.” The attractive power of the gospel lies mainly in the crucifixion of the gospel’s great Teacher.

From a sermon entitled "The Great Attraction," delivered October 13, 1867. Image by jenny downing under Creative Commons License.

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