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.|
- One hour spent under the cross, while the soul is thus elevated—thus abased—thus joyful—and thus sorrowful—is better than a thousand of earthly delights.
- Meditation is the chewing upon the truths we have heard: The beasts in the old law that did not chew the cud, were unclean: the christian that doth not by meditation chew the cud, is to be accounted unclean. Meditation is like the watering of the seed, it makes the fruits of grace to flourish.
- The Bible is thought of as authoritative on everything of which it speaks. Moreover, it speaks of everything.
- Remember you are not a tree, that can stand alone; you are only “a branch,” and it is only while you abide in Him, as a branch, that you will flourish.
- The Sabbath is the great day for gathering in souls—it is Christ’s market-day.