Crucifixion with Christ

The cross of our Lord Jesus Christ is the greatest mystery of divine wisdom and Almighty power, of eternal love and super-abounding grace, which could ever have been displayed before the eyes of men or angels. I call it a mystery, not only as incomprehensible by natural intellect, but because the very essence of a mystery, in the Scripture sense of the term, is to be hidden from some and revealed to others. Thus the Lord said to his disciples when they asked him why he spoke unto the multitude in parables, “Because it is given unto you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given.” (Mt 13:11.) In the same spirit he on another occasion said, “I thank you, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that you have hid these things from the wise and prudent, and have revealed them unto babes even so, Father; for so it seemed good in your sight.” (Lk 10:21.)

The cross, then, is a mystery, not only as enfolding in its bosom the deepest treasures of heavenly wisdom and grace, but because the power and wisdom of it are hidden from some, and made known to others. The apostle, therefore, begs of the saints at Ephesus that they would pray for him that utterance might be given unto him that he might open his mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel, for which he was an ambassador in bonds. (Eph 6:19, 20.) And again he says, “Although I am less than the least of all God’s people, this grace was given me: to preach to the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ, and to make plain to everyone the administration of this mystery, which for ages past was kept hidden in God, who created all things.” (Eph 3:8, 9.)

By J. C. Philpot; preached at the North Street Chapel, Stamford, on August 19, 1860

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