Saturday, June 26, 2010

The Cross and John Owen

John Owen's approach to the cross:

"To see him who is the wisdom of God, and the power of God (1 Cor. 1:30), always beloved of the Father (Matt. 3:17); to see him, I say, fear, and tremble, and bow, and sweat, and pray, and die; to see him lifted up upon the cross, the earth trembling under him, as if unable to bear his weight; and the heavens darkened over him, as if shut against his cry; and himself hanging between both, as if refused by both; and all this because our sins did meet upon him (Matt. 26:37-38; Mark 14:33; Luke 22:43-44; Heb. 5:7; Matt. 27:51; Mark 15:33-34; Isa. 53:6) - this of all things does most abundantly manifest the severity of God's vindictive justice. Here, or nowhere, is it to be learned."

"So he professes to his Father: "For their sakes I sanctify myself (John 17:19) - "I dedicate myself as an offering, as a sacrifice, to be killed and slain." This was his aim in all he former, that he might die; he was born, and lived, that he might die (Heb. 2:14-15). He valued them [man] above his life. And if we might stay to consider a little what was in this death that he underwent for them, we should perceive what a price indeed he put upon them. The curse of the law was in it (Gal. 3:13); the wrath of God was in it (2 Cor. 5:21); the loss of God's presence was in it (Psalms 22:1). It was a fearful cup that he tasted of, and drank of, that they might never taste of it (Matt. 26:39). A man for ten thousand worlds be willing to undergo that which Christ underwent for us in that one thing of desertion from God . . . When he did this for us we were sinners, and enemies, whom he might justly have destroyed. What more can be done? - to die for us when we were sinners! Such a death, in such a manner, with such attendancies of wrath and curse - a death accompanied with the worst that God had ever threatened to sinners - argues as high a valuation of us as the heart of Christ himself was capable of."

"He parted with the greatest glory, he underwent the greatest misery, he does the greatest works that ever were, because he loves his spouse - because he values believers. What can more, what can further be spoken?"

John Owen, Excerpts from "Communion with the Triune God"

Nothing more than "Amen and thank you Lord Jesus."

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