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God’s phenomenal act of sacrificial love

God’s phenomenal act of sacrificial love

God’s phenomenal act of sacrificial love

18 April 2019

Never tolerate the idea of martyrdom about the Cross of Jesus Christ. Photo: Thuong Do

By Scott Simpson

Many Christians would recognise Oswald Chambers for his classic daily devotional My Utmost for His Highest.

It’s certainly a book that has had a profound impact on my life. Having sold more than 13 million copies worldwide since its release in 1927, My Utmost for His Highest remains one of the most popular Christian devotionals even today. 

Scottish preacher Oswald Chambers

What many Christians are unaware of, however, is that Chambers authored almost 50 books, most of which have been published posthumously from verbatim notes of his teaching made by his stenographer wife.

Among his many writings, the Scottish preacher had much to say on the subject of Christ’s death and resurrection.

Recently, I have been refamiliarising myself with these writings during research for an editorial I was preparing for the April issue of Others.

Flicking through My Utmost for His Highest, I found myself reading and then re-reading the entry for 6 April.

So superb, so profound is Chambers’ insight into the Easter story found in this entry, that it deserves reproducing here in full. 

These, indeed, are powerful words to express God’s phenomenal act of sacrificial love in redeeming lost humanity – words which convey the triumph of the cross far more poignantly than anything I could muster.

The collision of god and sin

The Cross of Jesus is the revelation of God’s judgment on sin. Never tolerate the idea of martyrdom about the Cross of Jesus Christ.

The Cross was a superb triumph in which the foundations of hell were shaken. There is nothing more certain in Time or Eternity than what Jesus Christ did on the Cross: He switched the whole of the human race back into a right relationship with God.

He made Redemption the basis of human life, that is, He made a way for every son of man to get into communion with God.

The Cross did not happen to Jesus: He came on purpose for it. He is “the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world”.

The whole meaning of the Incarnation is the Cross. Beware of separating God manifest in the flesh from the Son becoming sin.

The Incarnation was for the purpose of Redemption. God became incarnate for the purpose of putting away sin; not for the purpose of self-realisation.

The Cross is the centre of Time and of Eternity, the answer to the enigmas of both. The Cross is not the cross of a man but the Cross of God, and the Cross of God can never be realised in human experience.

The Cross is the exhibition of the nature of God, the gateway whereby any individual of the human race can enter into union with God. When we get to the Cross, we do not go through it; we abide in the life to which the Cross is the gateway.

The centre of salvation is the Cross of Jesus, and the reason it is so easy to obtain salvation is because it cost God so much. The Cross is the point where God and sinful man merge with a crash and the way to life is opened – but the crash is on the heart of God.

– Oswald Chambers

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