The believer's lesson book!
(George Everard, "Beneath the Cross" 1877)
"But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world." Galatians 6:14
The cross of Christ is the believer's lesson book. The sufferings He bore for our sake, should be the subject of our constant meditation.
Nowhere, as in the Cross and in the scenes connected with it — do we see such revelations of the heart of Christ.
Mercy shines forth in her beauty...
seeking pardon for His cruel murderers,
compassionating the daughters of Jerusalem,
and saving a sinner of the deepest dye!
Justice, too, stands forth in unsullied glory. In paying the debt of human guilt, in bearing the penalty of a broken law — Christ is seen to be a just God, as also a Saviour.
In our Lord's suffering and death, there is precious instruction for the believer in almost every matter belonging to the Christian life...
what are the perils you are likely to meet with — and how best to overcome them;
what should be your life in secret before God — and what should be your path in the world;
what is your strength in the hour of temptation, and in the season of sorrow;
how to crucify the world — and how to glorify God in the position which you occupy
— all this may be learned in fellowship with our suffering Redeemer.
Beneath the Cross likewise, you may best learn to cultivate every Christian grace and virtue.
Meekness and courage,
zeal and love,
prayer and patience and forebearance,
and submission to the will of God —
are the fruits of a believing view of Christ's death.
You may learn, too, to conquer sin by the sight of that which it cost Christ to save you from it. The nail and the spear may be driven through the sins which have been most cherished. You may thus be enabled to crucify the flesh with the affections and lusts.
And beneath the Cross you may learn another lesson. You may learn how to die. Through death, Christ has destroyed the power of death — the sting is gone. To him who believes, death is life — for it is departing to be with Christ, which is far better.
Therefore let us often betake ourselves to Calvary. Let memory recall and ponder those hours on which our everlasting peace depends. Let our faith bridge over the centuries that have passed between. Let us go and stand in thought, beside the faithful women who were last at the cross, and first at the grave. Let us look again, and yet again, and discover new lessons of instruction and fresh grounds for the deepest contrition, as also for everlasting joy and thankfulness — beneath the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ.