True Contemplation of the Cross
FROM THE PEN OF MARTIN LUTHER (1483-1546)
“…fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. For consider Him who has endured such hostility by sinners against Himself, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.”
TRUE CONTEMPLATION OF THE CROSS
Mediate a moment on the passion of Christ. The true contemplation is when the heart is crushed and the conscience smitten. You must be overwhelmed by the frightful wrath of God who so hated sin that he spared not his only begotten Son. What can the sinner expect if the beloved Son was so afflicted? It must be an inexpressible and unendurable yearning that causes God’s Son himself so to suffer. Ponder this and you will tremble and the more you ponder, the deeper you will tremble.
Take this to heart and doubt not that you are the one who killed Christ. Your sins certainly did, and when you see the nails driven through his hands, be sure that you are pounding, and when the thorns pierce his brow, know that they are your evil thoughts. Consider that if one thorn pierced Christ you deserve one hundred thousand.
If you are so hardened that you do not tremble at this mediation, then you have reason to tremble. Pray to God that He may soften your heart and make fruitful your meditation upon the suffering of Christ. For we ourselves are incapable of proper reflection unless God instills it.
Excerpted from Jesus, Keep Me Near the Cross (Nancy Guthrie, General Editor, Crossway Books)
Scripture quotations are from the NASB® Bible