Today is Monday of Passion Week. It is Monday leading up to Friday, the day the Christian community celebrates the death of Jesus. If you think of that, it sounds strange. Why does a community of people celebrate the death of their leader? For two reasons. First, we know His death was necessary to accomplish our salvation. We know that we could never appease the wrath of God for our sins on our own. We needed someone to do it for us. Second, we know that Friday was not the end of the story. We know what happened on Sunday when He overcame death and rose from the dead. His resurrection gives us the hope that we will overcome our physical death as well.
In order to focus my heart this week, I wanted to reflect on the cross of Jesus. What did it accomplish? What was its purpose? How does it impact my life? As I am doing that, I thought I would share a quote from some book each day this week. These are different quotes that have meant something to me or has stirred my affection for Jesus in some way. I hope they might focus your heart as much as they do mine. The first quote is from one of my favorite dead authors, J. C. Ryle.
"I cannot think little of sin, when I look at the cross of Christ. Would I know the fullness and completeness of the salvation God has provided for sinners? Where shall I see it most distinctly? Shall I go to the general declarations of the Bible about God's mercy? Shall I rest in the general truth that God is a God of love? Oh! No! I will look at the cross of Christ. I find no evidence like that. I find no balm for a sore conscience, and a troubled heart, like the sight of Jesus dying for me on the accursed tree. There I see that a full payment has been made for all my enormous debts. The curse of that law which I have broken has come down on One who there suffered in my stead. The demands of that law are all satisfied. Payment has been made for me, even to the uttermost farthing. It will not be required twice over. Ah! I might sometimes imagine I was too bad to be forgiven. My own heart sometimes whispers that I am too wicked to be saved. But I know in my better moments this is all my foolish unbelief. I read an answer to my doubts in the blood shed on Calvary. I feel sure that there is a way to heaven for the very vilest of men, when I look at the cross."