“Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God” (Hebrews 12:2).
The mere thought of the cross should evoke in our hearts an ever-deepening thankfulness for the eternal work accomplished there. This is the theme of verse four of the hymn, “According to Thy Gracious Word.”
When to the cross I turn mine eyes And rest on Calvary, O Lamb of God, my sacrifice, I must remember Thee.
“And when they were come to the place, which is called Calvary, there they crucified Him” (Luke 23:33). The Roman occupiers of Israel executed many, sometimes for the slightest of offenses. They invented the hideous execution method of crucifixion, which had been prophesied in great detail in Psalms 22. In all likelihood, many had been executed at Calvary, some no doubt undeserving, but none like this!
For the One to whom we turn our eyes is none other than the Lamb of God. “Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world” (John 1:29), a “lamb without blemish and without spot”(I Peter 1:19), “The Lamb slain from the foundation of the world” (Revelation 13:8).
But the death of the Lamb takes on infinite proportions when we recognize that His death was a sacrificial death, for us. For “Christ also suffered for us. . . . (He) who did no sin, neither was guile found in His mouth: . . . who His own self bore our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness” (I Peter 2:21–24).
“God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ” (Galatians 6:14). And God forbid that we should fail to remember. JDM