“It is a not uncommon instinct among contemporary Christians to encounter difficulties and immediately conclude they have fallen into divine disfavor… We are not the best interpreters of divine providence. Nor is our conviction of the Father’s love for us grounded in his providential ways with us. The fatal mistake here is to base our assurance of grace and salvation on the fact that ‘God is blessing my life.’ When we do so, we have no anchor when life turns sour. No, God anchors himself to us in Christ. He has demonstrated his love for us specifically in the cross… we must never allow our eyes to be diverted nor view providence except through cross-shaped lenses.”
Sinclair Ferguson, The Whole Christ, 215–16.
“…Jesus has reached the lowest point in his humiliation and the most awful moment of his agony. The physical pain is no worse than before, perhaps less, but his soul is in torment: ‘My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?’… Jesus stands where no-one has ever stood before or since, knowing himself the bearer of the sin of the world, destined to pay the price for its redemption (Mark 10:45), and now drinking the bitterest dregs of the…
“When Jesus took the curse upon Himself, He so identified with our sin that He became a curse… At the moment that Christ took upon Himself the sin of the world, He became the most grotesque, most obscene mass of sin in the history of the world… I have heard many sermons about the physical pain of death by crucifixion. I’ve heard graphic descriptions of the nails and the thorns. Surely the physical agony of crucifixion was a ghastly thing….
“Just imagine what the weight of the sins of the world felt like. Just imagine the one man ‘who knew no sin’ being ‘made to be sin so that in him we might become the righteousness of God… For the sins of abortion, adultery, anxiety, arrogance, backbiting, bearing false witness, bitterness, blasphemy, boasting, bribery, complaining, coveting, contention, coarse joking, deceit, defrauding others, despising the poor, dishonoring the government, disregarding the Lord’s people on the Lord’s Day, disrespecting your parents and…
“If I understand Gethsemane at all, it means that Jesus loves me even more than I can imagine. It is not just that he died for me, but that he died this horrible, damnable, God-forsaken death that no one would ever want to die. He died this death because there was no other way for sinners to be saved, no easier road to redemption, no alternative to the cross… We will never have to suffer what our Savior suffered in…