A wonderful and unexpected gift came in the mail yesterday – Mark Driscoll’s “Death by Love”. I stayed up late last night, skimming the chapters. I started the introduction on my lunch break. Emailing with my best friend about how I was feeling, I stated the following:
Me – I feel like I have been laid low. I’ve never felt like this before.
Toya – Is it conviction?
Me – Its more so of a… ‘dag I didn’t know all that’ type thing. Moreso appreciative and grateful for Christ’s death on the cross. I cant put it into words, not to myself, to you, to God… I cannot explain it. I feel convicted bc of how lightly it seems that I take His death when I continue to knowingly sin while ignoring God given convictions. Christ died for the worst of rapists, murderers, pedophiles, fornicators, thieves… he died for the WORST of these… he took on the child molestor’s sin, the rapist’s sin… It’s quite amazing really… and quite awesome… in every sense of the word ‘awesome’… I have to share w/you what I have read soon… Whenever we talk next, I will.
What I didn’t know was particular details… crosses were recycled for instance. So what Jesus was carrying most likely had blood from previous men and women who were crucified. Also, the cross probably weighed about 100 pounds. That would be heavy to carry in a normal state, nevertheless a bloody and scourged state… Driscoll discusses various details about crucifixions that I just didn’t know… and those details are partially what had me in my car on my lunch break, speechless.
Here, I’m sharing two of the things that really resonated with me when I read them. This chapter has been one that has caused me to be ever more grateful for the beautiful Gospel of Jesus Christ! The Good News is found in the Cross!
And can it be that I should gain
An interest in the Savior’s blood?
Died He for me who caused His pain!
For me who Him to death pursued?
Amazing love! How can it be That
Thou, my God, should die for me?
– “And Can It Be?” (Charles Wesley)
Speaking of the darkest moment in all of time, 2 Corinthians 5:21 says, “For our sake He [God] made Him to be sin who knew no sin.” The great Protestant Reformer Martin Luther rightly declares that at that moment Jesus became the most grotesque, ugly, and hideous thing in the history of all creation. In what Luther calls “the great exchange”, the sinless Jesus so thoroughly took our place that He became the worst of what we are – rapists, thieves, perverts, addicts, liars, gluttons, gossips, murderers, adulterers, fornicators, homosexuals, and idolaters. Importantly, Jesus’ work on the cross was not just a bookkeeping transaction in the divine economy. Jesus actually took to Himself our sin with all its horror and shame (Heb. 12:2-3).
Sixth, Jesus said in a loud voice of triumph, “It is finished” (John 19:30). At this moment, the atonement for sin was made, and the holiness, righteousness, justice, and wrath of God were satisfied in the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. Sadly, some have taught, based on a later revision in the Apostles’ Creed, that Jesus did not fully secure our salvation on the cross but rather suffered in hell for three days prior to His resurrection as further atonement. As we have seen, however, Jesus said He was going to paradise on that day and that His work was finished, which negates three days in hell to conclude His work. The Scriptures merely say that Jesus went to the tomb but never declare that He went to hell (Matt. 27:59-60; Mark 15:46; Luke 23:52-55; John 19:41-42).
This is a great book. I thanked God for the gift yesterday. I’d been wanting the book since I saw the short clip on it. I really look forward to finishing it, and by God’s grace, knowing more about my Savior, and falling deeper in love with Him.