Tuesday, February 16, 2010

1 Never , Ever, EVER, Think That You're Past the Cross

I am reminded of remarks in Michael Horton's "The Gopsel-Driven Life" as I read (again) Horatius Bonar's wonderful work "The Everlasting Righteousness". Again, and again, Bonar reminds us of the necessity of always having before us the declaration of the completed work of Christ - the gopsel declaration for us who are in Him. Bonar drives this point home in chapter after chapter - that our life indeed, as Horton writes 200 years after his elder brother, must be truly driven by this fact.

Today so frequently as in Bonar's day the gospel is misunderstood as one of those 'elementary things' that Christians who are 'grown up now' needn't refer to it anymore - that gospel message was that which got them into the church, but beyond that, one needs to 'grow up' and get past it. To this, Bonar says,
"You fool! Do you not know that the cross of the Lord Jesus Christ endures forever and that you shall eternally glory in it, if you are saved by it at all?" (p. 33, Horatius Bonar, The Everlasting Righteousness)
The cross of Christ is symbolic of the glory of the Gospel - the finished work of atonement for Christ's people, and the glorious declaration by God the Father of the acceptance of that sacrifice as He was raised again - and this will be forever our story and song. Bonar's discussion in chapter 4 of The Everlasting Righteousness is grounded in part on the repetition again and again of the motif of the Lamb that was slain throughout the book of Revelation... indicating that indeed, the cry "Worthy is the Lamb that was slain" will freover be our cry, into eternity future, and even as we enjoy a foretaste of heaven in the communion of the saints on earth, the church militant.

Bonar has this excellent paragraph which simply stirs the heart up to heights of praise of our Lord and God - and of the Lamb that was slain:
"We are never done with the cross, nor ever shall be. Its wonders will be always new and always fraught with joy. 'The Lamb as it had been slain' will be the theme of our praise above. Why should such a name be given to him in such a book as the Revelation, which in one sense carried us far past the cross, were it not that we shall always realize our connection with its one salvation; we shall always be looking to it even in the midst of the glory; and we shall always be learning from it some new lesson regarding the work of him 'in whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace'? What will they who here speak of themselves as being so advanced as to be done with the cross say to being brought face to face with the slain Lamb, in the age of absolute perfection, the age of heavenly glory?" (p. 33, Horatius Bonar, The Everlasting Righteousness)
This rings SO true with much of the church, liberal and conservative alike. While the liberals often disregard the cross as a messy and primitive thing, and dispense with discussion about it because it's really not something a modern (or postmodern) people need to deal with or even believe in, the conservative church often forgets the need of the gospel to be brought up, discussed, rested upon and gloried in EACH DAY. Let us never, ever think that we're past the cross... may it never be!


Daniel Foucachon said...

Wonderful post! Thanks!


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