Tomorrow morning, with God’s help and grace, I want to look deeply into just a portion of what Jesus is doing in his work on the cross. Namely, he is fulfilling many old covenant shadows of substitution, sacrifice, and propitiation. We will do so by looking at Passover, the Day of Atonement, and a servant song, seeing how they connect to what Paul says in Galatians 3:13-14.
Authors aren’t known for giving away the ending of the story. And maybe that should be my tack as a preacher. But here is where I hope to end tomorrow, Lord willing – with a poem from D.A. Carson right before we celebrate the Lord’s Supper together:
Long have I pondered the pain of the cross,
Wood soaked in blood, washed with tears, drenched in sweat,
Whips, cruel nails, crown of thorns,
At a loss I can’t explain why this death is a threat,
Cascades of suffering and love shrink my pride,
Silent, I’m hushed by his spear-riven side.
Long have I pondered the shame of the cross,
Jeered by the troops, by authorities scorned,
Mocked by a brigand, societies dross,
Christ is abandoned, rejected, ignored,
How can I focus on triumphs and things,
Here rise my maker, redeemer, and king.
Long have I pondered the curse of the cross,
Sinless, the Christ bears my guilt and my pain,
Thundering silence, a measureless cost,
God in his heaven lets Christ cry in vain,
Now I can glimpse sin’s bleak horror and worse,
Christ dies and bears the unbearable curse.
Long have I pondered the Christ of the cross,
Gone is the boasting when I’m next to him,
Loving the rebel, redeeming the loss,
Jesus pure goodness exposes my sin,
Self is cut down by this triumph of grace,
Christ’s bloody cross is the hope of our race.