Excerpted from: The Work of Christ: Past, Present and Future, A.C. Gaebelein (1913).
And now let us consider His work on the cross and what has been accomplished by it. But who is able to speak worthily of this theme of all themes? Who can fathom the solemn yet blessed fact, the death of the Son of God on the cross? What tongue or pen can describe the sad, yet glorious truth, that the Just One died for the unjust, that Christ died for the ungodly! He who knew no sin was made sin for us! And what human mind can estimate the wonderful results of His work on the cross!
Some Christians speak as if the death on the cross, the work accomplished there, is so fully known to them, that they do not need any more instruction on it. They tell us that they search for deeper things. There can be nothing deeper than the death of God’s Son on the cross. Depths are here which are unfathomable.
We must ever turn back to the cross. Always we shall learn something new. With unspeakable glory upon us and greater glory before us in eternal ages to come, the cross of Christ and the Lamb of God which has taken away the sin of the world can never be forgotten. But we shall never know what that death on the cross meant for Him and what it meant to God.
Words of Grace for Strength
“Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see” (Hebrews 11:1).
Our faith, our hope must be in the Person of Jesus Christ and centered on the Cross. And as such, it truly is faith that carries us, faith and trust in Christ alone by the grace of God. Why do I call it faith? Because the Cross is something we cannot ever fully understand. Gaebelein notes that we can never know what the Cross meant to the Father and the Son.
Thus, how can we ever fully understand it? We cannot know the depths of the thoughts of God, never fully understand His plans and purposes. We can embrace the will of God, but we cannot grasp it completely with our mind and understand it as He does. Gaebelein speaks 100 years ago of Christians who do not think the Cross is deep enough for the primary consideration. Not deep enough to meditate upon, to reflect upon, and to show gratitude for by living a life He would have lived by all who follow after Him. How many more think this way today?
Can we fully understand the death of a sinless man? Death came into the world as a result of sin, and a sinless man had to die in propitiation for our sins. The most necessary death (in terms of our salvation) was the most unnatural (in terms of cause and effect) the world has ever experienced. We cannot fully comprehend all the nuances of that which is in God’s eternal plans and sovereign purposes. So we must turn on faith and center on the Cross.
We must rely on, we must constantly turn back to something that we can never know; what it meant to Him who gave it to us. Our faith is a gift which has a cost that we cannot fully understand. Our faith is by grace — that is something we can spend a lifetime learning about, plumbing the depths of and never reaching the bottom of its life giving waters. In our faith we accept all He has given us, in our faith we accept that we cannot repay nor merit what is freely given by Him.
In faith we accept what the Cross has made possible. And in all things we should turn to our Savior, and center on the Cross. Always the Cross. For without it, nothing else would be possible for us in the presence of God. For with it, all is possible before Him. And the Cross, always the Cross, is freely given to all who trust in Christ. Freely given, yet it cost more than we can imagine to Him who died upon it on our behalf.
The world will always hate it, because it will always need it. And we will always love Him who did so much for us upon it.
Let us focus on the Cross, always the Cross.