It was the world’s blackest hour. It was the world’s brightest hour. This is the paradox of the Cross.
It was the blackest hour because human hate came to its fiercest focus. It was the brightest hour because divine love came to its fullest flower. There hate was seen in all its heinous horror. But there also love revealed the heart of God.
Calvary stands at the crossroads of human history. All the divine paths of the past led to it. All the divine paths of the present and future lead from it.
At the Cross all the sin of the ages was placed on the heart of the sinless Son of God, as he became the racial representative of all humanity. From the Cross salvation flows to every believing soul. This is the Gospel, the greatest good news the world has ever heard.
The Departure. On the Mount of Transfiguration Moses and Elijah appeared to the praying Christ and “spake of his decease which he should accomplish at Jerusalem” (Luke 9:31). To us “decease” means death. But the Greek word is exodos—exodus, departure. Precisely it means here the death, resurrection, and ascension of Jesus Christ, by which three events he made his departure from this world back to the heavenly glory.
The Death. The death of Jesus differed from that of every other man. He “dismissed his spirit” (Matt. 27:50). His was a completely voluntary decease—“No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself” (John 10:18). Death was not forced upon him. He accepted it as the will of God for the salvation of man.
What did Jesus’ death mean for Him? The answer is best suggested by his prayer in Gethsemane. There he cried out in agony of soul, “O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me.” Then he bowed his head in humble submission and said: “Nevertheless ...1
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