Open as PDF
The Cross was the culmination of divine love. The life of Christ was all love. He was the love of God come down to earth, interpreted in a human life, so that all could understand it. At last, on the Cross, this love found its highest expression, when the Son of God gave Himself up to redeem sinners.
We can never understand the mystery of this love. We have hints of it—but hints only, in some of the higher expressions of human love. The immeasurable distance between the divine Redeemer and those He died to redeem—makes the love forever inexplicable. Some artists have suggested this mystery in their pictures of the Crucifixion.
One artist has left nearly everything to the thought of the beholder. Where the form of the Savior is—there is only darkness, with some traces, little more than suggestions, of light, which, as you study the picture closely, reveal in dim, shadowy outline, the form of a Man on a cross. The face appears in merest outline, and a ray of light shows the figure of one kneeling at the foot of the cross. The picture suggests two mysteries—the mystery of the love of Christ in its great sacrifice; and then the mystery of redemption by which the blessing of that sacrifice is communicated to penitent human souls that bow at the Cross.
The Cross is now the center of the world's hopes. We cannot understand the mystery—but we are sure of the fact that there is redemption in the blood of Christ. Paul puts the truth in a few great luminous words in one of his letters, "The Son of God, who loved me, and gave Himself up for me." This concentrating of the love of Christ and its great sacrifice upon himself, as if Paul had been the only one Christ loved and for whom He gave Himself up—shows us that we are all individualized in the heart of the Redeemer, and in the meaning of His work. Each one of us may say, "He loved me, and gave Himself up for me!"
"Under an eastern sky, Amid a rabble cry,
A man went forth to die—For me!
Thorn-crowned His blessed head,
Blood-stained His every tread,
Cross-laden, on He sped—For me!"