Archive for April 21st, 2011

The most solemn of all days in Israel was the great day of atonement, the only day in the year on which the high priest entered into the Most Holy Place in the Temple. Before he approached that mysterious sanctuary, the law enjoined that he should divest himself of his costly garments, and clothe himself from head to foot in a plain white linen dress. He then took the vessel with the sacrificial blood in his hand, and, thrilling with sacred awe, drew back the veil, in order, humbly and devoutly, to approach the throne of grace, and sprinkle the atoning blood. He remained no longer in the sacred place than sufficed to perform his priestly office. He then came out again to the people, and, in Jehovah’s name, announced grace and forgiveness to every penitent soul.

Once more we return to the road to the cross, and in spirit mingle with the crowd proceeding to the place of execution. They are just passing the rocky sepulchers of the kings of Israel. The ancient monarchs sleep in their cells, but a dawning resurrection gleams upon their withered remains when the Prince of life passes by. The procession then enters the valley of Gehenna, which once reeked with the blood of the sacrifices to Moloch. But there is another still more dreadful Gehenna; and who among us would have escaped it, had not the Lamb of God submitted to the sufferings which we now see Him enduring.

In that mourning group you see only the first divinely quickened germs of the future kingdom of the divine Sufferer. From a few, a multitude that no man can number will before long proceed.

… the summit of Mount Calvary—Golgotha—horrifying name—the appellation of the most momentous and awful spot upon the whole earth. Behold a naked and barren eminence, enriched only by the blood of criminals, and covered with the bones of executed rebels, incendiaries, prisoners, and other offscourings of the human race. An accursed spot, where love never rules, but where naked justice alone sits enthroned, with scales and sword, and from which every passerby turns with abhorrence, a nocturnal rendezvous of jackals and hyenas. This place, so full of horrors, becomes transformed into "the hill from where comes our help," whose mysteries many kings and prophets have desired to see, and did not see them.

See His holy arms forcibly stretched out upon the cross—His feet laid upon each other. Thus Isaac once lay on the wood on Mount Moriah. But the voice that then called out of Heaven, saying: "Lay not your hand upon the lad!" is silent on Calvary. The executioners seize the hammer and nails. But who can bear to look upon what further occurs? The horrible nails from the forge of Hell, yet foreseen in the sanctuary of eternity, are placed on the hands and feet of the righteous Jesus, and the heavy strokes of the hammer fall. Do you hear the sound? They thunder on your heart, testifying in horrible language of your sin, and at the same time of the wrath of Almighty God.

Source: Friedrich Krummacher, ‘The Crucifixion’ The Suffering Saviour: Meditations on the last days of Christ.

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