The Cross of Christ–Part One

February 7, 2009


For some reason, I’ve never been able to read one book at a time. I always have several books going at once. One of the books I’m reading right now is In My Place Condemned He Stood, by Mark Dever and J.I. Packer. The book reprints a handful of essays on the cross of Christ; three by Packer, one by Dever, and an annotated bibliography by Ligon Duncan that describes other books that deal with the cross. Don’t let the slender size of the book fool you, this small tome packs an enormous punch.

How often have you, when you’ve actually paused to think about the cross, wondered what it was really about? Has the bloody and brutal death of Jesus puzzled you? It certainly puzzled me at one time. And, I’m sorry to say, I believe it still puzzles many Christians. They confess Christ as Lord and believe he was raised from the dead, but they are foggy on what exactly happened on the cross. For me, one of the people who helped to clear things up was John Piper. Others also helped, including R. C. Sproul, John Owen.

cross-book-dever-packer1Unless we grasp what God accomplished on the cross—in the death of Christ, the perfect sacrifice; in the pouring out of God’s wrath on his sinless Son; in the substitution that Christ made on our behalf, suffering and dying instead of us—we will never flourish as a church. No program will ‘fix’ us, no matter how well planned it is. Only the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world will save us. This is what should, first and foremost, be sung by the congregation, taught by parents and taught in the Sunday school, and preached and preached and preached from the pulpit.


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