April 15, 2020 | by: 0 Comments|
We continue this week with our meditations on the sufferings of our Redeemer. I pray that the church would meditate on Jesus’ death and resurrection every day, not just on Easter. Christ work on the cross and his resurrection are the foundation of our faith. If these things aren’t true, then “we are off all people most to be pitied” (1 Corinthians 15:19). The cross of Christ is so full of grace, that in a lifetime we could not mine all the riches that lie therein.
Chapter 13: Outer Darkness
Leahy speaks here of the darkness described in Matthew 27:45. His first point explores the singularity of this darkness. This was not a simple overcast at noon that caused a dreary feeling. This darkness was otherworldly. At noon, the light of the sun failed. As those looking back on these events, we may think that this would cause some change among the mockers of Christ, but there is no sign of change. Those that killed Jesus were overtaken by a darkness even greater than that physically experienced at noon on Friday.
The next point Leahy makes is on the significance of the darkness. He says that “To be forsaken by God is hell.” This outer darkness served as a picture of the inner darkness that Jesus was experiencing on our behalf. I would argue that the physical darkness experienced, however dark it may have been, was no real comparison to the darkness experienced by the torment of a soul without God.
This darkness is a picture also of the human heart prior to salvation. Jesus describes the unregenerate in this way, “the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil.” (John 3:19). Man, without God’s grace “is in the darkness and walks in the darkness, and does not know where he is going, because the darkness has blinded his eyes.” (1 John 2:11).
We see here a picture of what sin cost. The debt we owed was paid in full by the Son of God. The cross is Christ’s call to those in the darkness that, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” (John 8:12).
We come now to the cross with, hopefully, a deeper understanding of what it meant for Christ to suffer in our stead. The darkness of the cross shows God’s hatred for sin, but also paints the beautiful picture of the Fathers love for us. That while we were still sinners God “…gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16).
In Galatians, Paul speaks of those who think they can be justified by works. He says of them, “You are severed from Christ, you who would be justified by the law; you have fallen away from grace.” (Galatians 5:4). To be saved, we must come to the cross empty handed. There is nothing that we can add, or by any means need to add, to the grace of God. If we repent of our sin, and put our faith in Christ alone for salvation, God’s promise is this: “I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.” (Jerimiah 31:34). “For by a single offering he has perfected for all time those who are being sanctified.” (Hebrews 10:14).
Our hope does not lie in a dead Nazarene, but in the living God who is Christ Jesus. For Christ “appeared once for all at the end of the ages to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself” (Hebrews 9:26) and, risen, has “entered… into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God on our behalf” (Hebrews 9:24). And this Jesus will return and bring us to “Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem” (Hebrews 12:22), to “dwell in the house of the Lord forever” (Psalm 23:6). Let our hope not lie in anything or anyone. Let it lie only in Jesus Christ and his righteousness.
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