Pastoral Letter March 2013

Even those who were crucified with Him reviled Him

– Mark 15.32

Dear Friends,

As we approach the end of our studies in Mark’s gospel on Sundays, we will come to the account of the crucifixion of our dear Saviour. I hope and pray that we would all be delivered from any sense of ‘familiarity’ when we consider these things together. The events of which we read are the most staggering and appalling ever recorded in words.

In passing, this is why there is no profit in making films or images of those events. We could never do them justice. But we should certainly dwell upon what the scriptures teach us, in the gospels, about Calvary’s Cross. As we consider the amazing love of Jesus Christ, which is ‘writ large’ in His death, nothing short of awe and wonder should grip us. Why would the eternal God submit to such indignity? Why would the Creator become subject to His creatures? Why would the Judge of all the earth bow before such injustice?

Stop and ponder that the answer to these questions, for every believer, is most personal. ‘Why would He go through all of that?’ — ‘For me!’
Why must it be so terrible? Why must He suffer so? Because sin is serious. It separates us from God and would condemn us to eternal hell. We all-too-easily downplay sin, and fail to recognise its powerful grip upon us. Nothing but the highest price would pay the debt — no-one but the Lamb of God could turn aside, and bear, the righteous anger of a Holy God.

If you need evidence of the power of sin, then consider the verse I have quoted. Here are men condemned and dying, who yet join in with the religious leaders in mocking the Saviour. What blindness! What darkness! We gave thanks for the knowledge that one of them was saved — but it should be for us a matter of the greatest and gravest consideration that we all were once as lost, as blind, as opposed to God, as the vilest of the offenders at Calvary; and yet the sovereign love of God has sought us and saved us — Hallelujah! We live in days when many seem to hate God, but remember — our Lord saves His enemies!

Be encouraged, give thanks, and press on with Kingdom work!

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