It has been my practices over the years to set my mind on God (Rom. 8:5) based on the Christian calendar, mostly around my devotion readings and my music playlists. One of the books I just finished reading for this Easter is “The Cross He Bore” by Frederick Leahy, published by Banner of Truth. A small one-hundred pages book consists of thirteen chapters, of meditative studies on the Passion of Christ. From the agony of the Garden of Gethsemane to the darkness in which He died on Calvary.
Each of the chapters starts with a selection of a single verse which he focuses his devotion on, which follows by a very concise yet profound exposition of the text, often quoting from well know reformers, puritans and theologians of the past.
It seems rather strange how Leahy choose the last of his devotions from Matt. 27:45, “Now from the sixth hour there was darkness over all the land until the ninth hour”. Yet, just as Calvin wrote in his Institutes, Without knowledge of God, there is no knowledge of self1)Calvin, J. (2011). Institutes of the Christian Religion & 2. (J. T. McNeill, Ed., F. L. Battles, Trans.) (Vol. 1, p. 37). Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox Press. , for us to understand how great the light, we must understand the darkness of our sin.
“Those who live and die in unforgiven sin, live and die in darkness. There is no light for anyone except in Christ. Earthly wisdom is darkness in the sight of God. Christ exclaimed, ‘If then the light in you is darkness, how great is the darkness!’ (Matt. 6: 23).”
Leahy ended the chapter with the following:
“To redeem His people He entered and endured that darkness. Now He calls us ‘out of darkness into His marvellous light’. He is the true light and those who follow Him ‘will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life’ (1 Pet. 2: 9, John 8: 12).”
Go and grab a copy, throw yourself under the foot of the cross, and gaze upon “the Son of God” who gave Himself for you, with gratitude, reverence and awe (Heb. 12:28).
|1.||Calvin, J. (2011). Institutes of the Christian Religion & 2. (J. T. McNeill, Ed., F. L. Battles, Trans.) (Vol. 1, p. 37). Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox Press.|
- Prayer is not so much an act as it is an attitude—an attitude of dependency, dependency upon God.
- True liberty is not the power to live as we please, but to live as we ought!
- Jesus Christ came not to make us scholars in naturals, but to endue us with such a knowledge as is in order to eternal happiness, and with such a renewing principle as might make us capable of heaven.
- The whole work of regeneration, and conversion, and sanctification, and the efficacy of the death of Christ in the soul, consists in these two things: a taking us off from self, and pitching us upon God and Christ as our end. The terminus a quo is self, the terminus ad quem is Christ.
- Salvation then, according to the Bible, is not something that was discovered, but something that happened.