Friday, April 10, 2009

Good Friday

Understanding sin is a vital element in understanding the Gospel. We cannot understand grace if we do not understand sin. We cannot understand mercy if we do not understand sin. We cannot understand redemption, salvation, or forgiveness if we do not understand sin. A right understanding and application of the Gospel begins with a right understanding of sin. This is why J.C. Ryle said, “He must first dig down very low if he would build high.”

Good Friday is all about knowing Christ to be a great Savior. But we will never know Christ as a Great Savior if we do not first know ourselves to be great sinners. We will never feel conversion if we do not first feel conviction–desperation always precedes deliverance. In other words, we will never own God’s glorious salvation if we do not first own our grievous sin.

If we do not recognize our need for the Gospel we will never tune in to the Gospel. This is why the cross of Christ must be central to our understanding of the Gospel. Because the cross is like a thermometer reminding me of my great sickness, while at the same time it is like a barometer reminding me of God’s great salvation. It shows me my disease and points me to the cure.

Praise God that he sent his Son not just to share in our weaknesses, but to bear our iniquities. Praise God that the Suffering Servant was not just wounded for our identification, but for our transgressions. Praise God that the Son of man came not just be a restoration of our humanity, but a ransom for our sin. Praise God that our Brother shared not just in our humanity, but shared in our humanity that he might become a high priest in the service of God, a high priest who offered himself once for all as our eternal redemption. Because without the shedding of blood there can still be identification with humanity, but there cannot be the remission of sin.

So with these thoughts in mind, find a quiet place to meditate on these glorious words:

O sacred Head, now wounded,
with grief and shame weighed down,
now scornfully surrounded
with thorns, thine only crown:
how pale thou art with anguish,
with sore abuse and scorn!
How does that visage languish
which once was bright as morn!

What thou, my Lord, has suffered
was all for sinners’ gain;
mine, mine was the transgression,
but thine the deadly pain.
Lo, here I fall, my Savior!
’Tis I deserve thy place;
look on me with thy favor,
vouchsafe to me thy grace.

What language shall I borrow
to thank thee, dearest friend,
for this thy dying sorrow,
thy pity without end?
O make me thine forever;
and should I fainting be,
Lord, let me never, never
outlive my love for thee.

I wish this was my original piece... however... i enjoyed it so much that I wanted to share it with those who would have never seen it otherwise... Original Site.

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