September 1, 2015

The Cross He Bore

 

"For unto us a Child is born,
Unto us a Son is given;
And the government will be upon His shoulder.
And His name will be called
Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.


Of the increase of His government and peace There will be no end,
Upon the throne of David and over His kingdom,
To order it and establish it with judgement and justice
From that time forward, even forever.
The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this." 


Isaiah 9:6-7




Jesus is Wonderful, He is our Counselor, our Mighty God, our Everlasting Father, our Prince of Peace.

He is why I am a Christian.

I loved this book, The Cross He Bore, which was filled with meditations on the sufferings of the redeemer.

It reminded me that we should reflect on the Cross more often.

And it gave me a greater appreciation of every step Jesus took, from the garden of Gethsemane, to the beatings He endured, to the Cross, to the grave and to His resurrection.


I can truly say I was overwhelmed by His love while reading it. What He did is so far beyond anything I could do for Him. I am completely at His mercy, and I am so grateful He gives it freely.

The author of this book, Frederick S. Leahy, delves deeper into each step Christ took and I learnt so much more than I knew before.

Here are the chapter headings:

1.  Man of Sorrows
2.  Prayerful Submission
3.  Strengthened To Suffer
4.  Satan's Hour
5.  The Dumb Lamb
6.  Taking the Oath
7.  Sentenced To Death
8.  The Butt of Mockery
9.  The Crown of Thorns
10. Outside the Gates
11. Satan's Cup Refused
12. Outer Darkness

In the introduction Edward Donnelly says here:

"We are too apt to hurry past the cross, to undervalue, in spite of ourselves, the supreme mystery of the ages by a shallow assumption that we know it all. We don't and never will. But we need to take time to learn as much as we can. We need to 'behold', to 'survey', to 'stand and stare."

And the author, Frederick S. Leahy, starts the first chapter with this:

"The Gospels are not mere biographies; indeed, strictly speaking they are not biographies at all, for they are silent on much of the earthly life of Christ. Their purpose is theological, to convey to mankind what God has done in Christ for the salvation of sinners. They proclaim good news and the cross is the center of that saving message."

How blessed are we here in North America to have easy access to Bibles? To be able to read the Good New whenever we want, when so many around the world are starving for it. We should never take it for granted, never leave it on the shelf.

Where would I be if I hadn't heard the Gospel?


Everything in this book stood out to me. It's a book that I will definitely be reading again and again and I rarely re-read books!

Here's a few great quotes to give you a taste of what truths you will find in it.

This is from the first chapter, 'Man of Sorrows':

"...the death of Christ is different from every other death. True, the physical aspect of His death has much in common with other deaths, but there the comparison ends. He died as the Surety for His people and as their Substitute. 

Not only must He experience physical death, but also He must taste eternal death - damnation - separation from God! In all of this He must grapple with Satan and destroy death itself (Gen. 3:15, 1 Cor. 15:26). There is no analogy between the death of Socrates and that of Christ. Christ's death is not to be compared with any other."

This is something I've thought of often. What was different? This book will help you understand that difference more clearly, and appreciate more fully what Christ did for us.
 
In the second chapter, 'Prayerful Submission' we are in the garden of Gethsemane and are reminded that Jesus was the second Adam (1 Cor. 15:45) the Scriptures talk about:

"In Gethsemane it was never a question whether the Savior would obey or disobey. In Eden God asked, 'Adam, where are you?' In a sense the question was repeated in Gethsemane and this Adam did not try to hide; He had no need to; His whole response was clearly, 'Here am I!' Willingly and voluntarily the Good Shepard laid down His life for the sheep."

This next quote was an answer to prayer for me. There are many false teaching out there, one being the kenotic theory, which teaches that Jesus emptied Himself of His divinity when He came to earth.

This is from chapter 3 'Strengthened to Suffer':

The Bible says in Phil. 2:7:

"He made Himself of no reputation."

"This is commonly translated to read that Christ 'emptied Himself', and B.B. Warfield regards this as a mistranslation. Certainly Christ could not have emptied Himself of His divine essence, for then He would have ceased to be God. The kenotic theory, that Christ divested Himself of His deity, or at least of certain divine attributes, became popular with 19th-century German theologians and survived in various modified forms. It presents a Jesus who is either 'shrunken deity' or else not truly human. 

And as Warfield says cogently, 'No Christian heart will be satisfied with a Christ in whom there was no Godhead at all while He was on earth, and in whom there may be no manhood at all now that He has gone to heaven.' Warfield stresses that there is no half-way house between the doctrine that Christ is both God and man and that Christ is merely man. Someone has said that a Jesus who is just less than God is like a bridge broken at the farther end. Such a Jesus could not deliver from Satan and sin, and such a Jesus the Bible does not present."

I agree... Christ was and is both fully man and fully God. That's the Jesus the Bible presents.



In chapter 5 'The Dumb Lamb' we have Jesus keeping silent. What does this say about Him?

"Christ's silence was deliberate, emphatic and authoritative: it was His deed. The passivity of His suffering was real, but so was the activity of His obedience. Led as a lamb to the slaughter and like a sheep dumb before the shearers, He was active right up to and on the cross. He went as a king to die."

In chapter 7 'Sentenced To Death' This quote was hard to read but so true non-the-less:

"At no point did the Savior receive justice from man. And every sinner has said in effect, 'Away with Him...I will not have this man to reign over me."

The author then quotes this beautiful poem by Horatius Bonar:

I see the scourges tear his back,
I see the piercing crown,
And of that crowd who smite and mock,
I feel that I am one,

'Twas I that shed the sacred blood,
I nailed him to the tree,
I crucified the Christ of God,
I joined the mockery.

Yet not the less that blood avails,
To cleanse away my sin,
And not the less that cross prevails
To give me peace within.

The author says of Jesus while being flogged in chapter 8, 'The Butt of Mockery':

"As that suffering, humiliated figure stood there, His tormentors despised Him in their hearts. They thought that He was utterly helpless in their hands. 

How wrong they were!

Christ was never in retreat, never merely passive. At this moment He was actively and voluntarily exposing Himself to the fury of His enemies. Now came the fulfillment of those prophetic words, 'I gave my back to those who strike, and my cheeks to those who pull out the beard; I hid not my face from disgrace and spitting' (Isaiah 50:6)."

Chapter 11 'Satan's Cup Refused' was extremely moving for me. It is a powerful testimony to what Christ did for us.

" The cup that the Father placed in the Son's hands was brimful of wrath and judgement. Its every drop brought torment. 

Yet this cup He would drink to the glory of God! 

This cup He would drink in honor of God's holiness and righteousness. This cup of death He would drink in order that not one of His people might ever taste a single drop of it. 'Shall I not drink the cup that the Father has given me?' (John 18:11). Yes, indeed! He would drink it to its dregs. He would drain that cup. Not one drop would be left."

We can never repay Him for this. We can only accept His gift of grace.

Jesus went through all of this for us, then He conquered death and rose again.

The author says in chapter 13 'Outer Darkness':

"Christ spoke solemnly of 'outer darkness', associating it with unspeakable anguish (Matt. 8:12, 22:13, 25:30). 

To redeem His people He entered and endured that darkness. 

Now He calls us 'out of darkness into His marvelous light.' He is the true light and those who follow Him 'will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life' (1Peter 2:9, John 8:12).

I highly recommend this book!! It encouraged me to think more deeply on Christ and the Cross.

I'd like to share this beautiful song by Aaron Shust which encourages me to look to the Savior.

"My Savior My God"

I am not skilled to understand
What God has willed what God Has planned
I only know at his right hand
Stands one who is my Savior

I take him at his word and deed
Christ died to save me this I read
And in my heart I find the need
Of him to be my Savior

That he would leave his place on high
And come for sinful man to die
You called it strange so once did I
Before I knew my Savior

My Savior loves
My Savior lives
My Savior's always there for me

My God he was
My God he is
My God he's always gonna be

Yes living, dying let me bring
My strength my Solace from the Spring
That he who lives to be my king
Once died to be my Savior

That he would leave his place on high
And come for sinful man to die
You called it strange, so once did I
Before I knew my Savior

My Savior loves
My Savior lives
My Savior's always there for me

My God he was
My God he is
My God he's always gonna be




I'll leave you with this great quote about Jesus:

"The real truth is that while He came to preach the Gospel, His chief object in coming was that there might be a Gospel to preach."  R.W. Dale



Buy it HERE on Amazon


31 comments:

  1. You are so right! We don't reflect on the cross nearly enough. Thanks for your thoughts on this book, and the reminder to look to Calvary! Joining you today from Words with Winter!

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    1. Thanks for commenting Ellen. Glad you stopped by! : )

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  2. I love "My Savior, My God". What a beautiful song. Thanks for sharing!

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    1. I love it too! Thanks for stopping by Kelsie. : )

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  3. THis sounds like an interesting book!. Thanks for the review!

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    1. It was so good! It shared things I'd never thought of before about the cross. So glad I read it.

      Thanks for stopping by Kortney!

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  4. Thank you for the book review and for pointing us to the cross where the story of Jesus ends and begins! The book sounds wonderful and I love the thorough review that you shared. Visiting you from #TellHisStory

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    1. I was so glad to see you shared this at Weekend Whispers. Happy weekend to you!

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    2. Hi Mary, glad to be able to link-up with you again! Hope you had a great weekend too!

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  5. I hadn't heard of this book, but it sounds interesting. Thank you for your thoughts and review. Visiting today from #SDGGathering.

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  6. Love this: The Gospels are not mere biographies; indeed, strictly speaking they are not biographies at all, for they are silent on much of the earthly life of Christ. Their purpose is theological, to convey to mankind what God has done in Christ for the salvation of sinners. They proclaim good news and the cross is the center of that saving message.

    Thanks for sharing! I am stopping by from Three Word Wednesday :)

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    1. Glad you were moved by one of the quotes. This book is filled with great insights.

      Thanks for stopping by and commenting. : )

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  7. I haven't heard of this book before, but now after reading your review, it's one that interests me. Thank you for writing it. I can't seem to stop thinking about, "Where would I be if I hadn't heard the gospel?" It's a joy to follow you at #RaRaLinkup this week!

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    1. Hope you get a chance to read it. Glad you stopped by Julie!

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  8. This sounds like a really great book to use during Lent. I am making a note now!

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    1. Hi Jen, glad you are making a note of it! I'm not that familiar with Lent, as the church I grew up in never practiced it (I'm just learning about what it is now as an adult) but I think this book is wonderful to read anytime to remind us of the Gospel. : )

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  9. Hey Cathy,

    This book sounds like a thought-provoking heart book - one that will make you appreciate all that Jesus did for us. I had not heard of it before I found your post, but I want to discover more about it now.

    Thanks for sharing such positive review. I found you on Blessings Counter today.

    I pinned your post here: https://www.pinterest.com/melredd/blog-link-parties-and-blog-link-ups/

    Hope you have a blessed weekend~
    Melanie

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    1. What a great way to describe this book... 'a thought-provoking heart book"!

      Thanks for stopping by and for pinning my post! : )

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  10. Thank you so much for a great review....and yes, we can never thank Jesus enough or meditate enough on His cross...such love and sacrifice...So glad I linked up behind you at Barbie's blog.

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    1. Hi Dolly, thanks for stopping by. Glad you enjoyed the post. : )

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  11. Great review. The cross is not preached about often. They preach about Him dying on the cross, but not the cross itself. I love the quotes and the reminders of how Jesus died on the cross for my sins. Thanks for sharing on Literacy Musing Mondays.

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    1. I agree, the cross needs to be preached more often! It's the heart of the Gospel.

      Thanks for stopping by Mary. : )

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  12. I love to meditate on Isaiah 53, and this sounds like the perfect accompaniment. What a great book for reading around the time of Holy Week!

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    1. I love Isaiah 53 too. Hope you get a chance to read this book as well.

      Thanks for stopping by Michele. : )

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  13. Goodness, so many good books out there. :) We talked about some of these scriptures recently at church. I love when God repeats things to me! Thanks for linking up at #ThreeWordWednesday, even if it took me awhile to make it by!

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    1. I love it when that happens! Glad you came by. : )

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  14. Wow! Thanks for sharing this. Your reaction to it reminds me of mine when I read Max Lucado's He Chose the Nails. So powerful! Thanks for sharing this at Booknificent Thursday!
    Tina

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    1. Hi Tina, Max Lucado's book sounds great too. Thanks for stopping by!

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  15. Oh my! This book made a huge impact on me. I think this one would be on my six books that I still think about. We started re-reading this book every year around Easter time.

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    1. Yes such a great book! Since I had just written about it, I didn't include it with my 6, but it is definitely a favorite and one I will read again. Love hearing you read it with your family! : )

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Feel free to leave your own thoughts in the comments. I try to respond to all of them by the end of the week. : )

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