This blog entry is something I emailed to a few friends a number of years ago. My brother Robert suggested I put it on A Mending Feast. May it serve as a reminder to all of us that the Cross is God’s secret weapon. We see this readily enough in what our Lord Jesus went through at Calvary; there it was that He defeated the Devil with his own weapon—death. But what about the cross in our own lives? It often looks like defeat, as we see on a growing scale in our day when Christians in many lands are being severely persecuted, with many nations intent on eradicating Christians from the face of the earth. Even closer to home the proud and lofty talk in terms Christianity going the way of the dodo. We’re in the “post-Christian era,” they tell us confidently. They are reckoning without the God of our Lord Jesus Christ and His secret weapon when they talk that way. “He that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh…”
Here’s The Look On His Face (revised a little).
Earlier today I was listening to a song on Youtube which was accompanied by a video clip from the movie The Passion of Christ. I don’t have a very high regard for that movie, filled with Roman Catholic influence as it is, and in some places not faithful to the Scriptures. But I think the part on the crucifixion itself gives realistic insight into the brutality Christ suffered. And this is the video clip I watched. It showed a whipped and tortured Christ, his flesh shredded by the scorpion lash. He is in agony, wracked with pain, bruised and bleeding, the blood trickling down His face, and down His body. He is having a hard time seeing because the blood from the crown of thorns is in His eyes. The angry cuts of the whipping scar His bloody back. He is weak, He can hardly walk. He is stumbling under His cross, and at one point along the way actually falls, unable to bear it any further. And then at Golgotha—the place of a skull—as they drive the nails into His hands He grimaces with unbearable pain. As the soldiers raise the Cross, His face over and over again is the face of One in the deepest of torment and pain and suffering…
…All true, for that’s certainly how it was.
But as I watched this, I had a sudden sense that there was something missing. In their painstaking effort to portray the passion of Christ with the utmost realism, they had nevertheless entirely missed something! And suddenly it seemed as if I saw His face… and I saw Him—it was but in a moment—with such a look of secret TRIUMPH on His face! His teeth were set, and there was… I have to say it… a smile of such CONQUEST on His face… a look of such utter and ultimate and irresistible CONQUEST! And the Spirit of God just flooded into my heart.
Oh, what a look! I tell you, it struck fear in me. Oh, the power of that look! Yes, they had done to Him what they wanted to do… and He was suffering, bleeding, dying… but—Lord, grant us the Eye that sees: right there You were as a Lion roaring on His prey!
I tell you… this brought me to my knees. I raise my arms in praise to this One… and I worship Him. …I worship You, Lord Jesus Christ, Lamb of God victorious! There is none like You! None like You! Thank you for Your Conquest, cause us to know it, Lord Jesus Christ!
“And having spoiled principalities and powers, He made a show of them openly, triumphing over them IN IT (in His Cross)” (Col. 2.15).
June 1, 2009
…So let us remember in the midst of great trials–I’ve been needing the reminder myself of late– that we fight our spiritual battles from the perspective of a victory already won. Our old friend Gene used to enjoy telling us of a little conversation he imagined taking place at Calvary. When Satan finally succeeded in getting the Lord Jesus on the cross, he said, “Jesus, I’ve finally got you where I want you.”
And Jesus, crowned with thorns and arms outstretched, said in return, “Satan, I’ve finally got you just where I want you.”
…I thought to conclude with a little poem Robert passed on to me, which he found on Spurgeon’s Evening and Morning devotional. Thanks for this, Robert; it fits right in.
Proclaim aloud the Saviour’s fame,
Who bears the Breaker’s wond’rous name;
Sweet name; and it becomes him well,
Who breaks down earth, sin, death, and hell.
Let us do that beloved, proclaim the Saviour’s fame, in all we are going through now and shall yet go through. One has gone before us—the Breaker (Micah 2.12,13). He was broken on the cross of Calvary, and thus broke the power and bonds of earth and sin and death and the grave. Hallelujah!