Quiet Talks by Samuel Dickey: Gordon, Samuel Dickey - Quiet Talks About Calvary: 03. An Inner Picture

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Quiet Talks by Samuel Dickey: Gordon, Samuel Dickey - Quiet Talks About Calvary: 03. An Inner Picture

TOPIC: Gordon, Samuel Dickey - Quiet Talks About Calvary (Other Topics in this Collection)
SUBJECT: 03. An Inner Picture

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An Inner Picture

Then there is a picture within the picture, for Isaac. At the last moment the ram caught in the thicket by its thorns is taken and laid on the altar in Isaac’s place. I want to ask what you think Isaac believed about substitutionary sacrifice, as he stood at one side, and with awe-touched eyes saw the ram bleeding and burning on the altar where he had lain. Many of our scholarly friends doubt about the use of that word “substitute,” but Isaac did not. He said, “I was there on that altar. I am not there now. Something else has given its life in my place.”

That is the second of these pictures. In it there is clearly sacrifice, a suffering father,—I love the thought of that side,—a submissive son, and a life given out in intent. And then the inner picture, of the beast’s innocent blood given in place of another.

The third of these pictures is the story of Joseph. You will mark keenly that Joseph was his father’s best beloved son. That is the first stroke in the etch­ing. He was despised and rejected by his brothers because of his goodness, and because of the envy of their hearts. He was put to death by his own brothers in intent. The picture is always less than the thing foreshadowed. But so far as they were concerned, he was killed. And so far as it seemed to him likely, he gave up his life. Then, as the scene shifts from the first stage to the second, in Egypt he suffers im­prisonment, reproach, slander, because of his purity, through the sin of others. He suffers the keenest kind of pain, bodily, of mind, and of spirit.

Then he is lifted to a throne. This is the climax of Calvary. Never spell “Calvary” without the climax. Remember this,—Jesus did die, but He lived again. Had He simply died we would have had a clean score, but we would have been dead. Much comfort in that! The old score clean; some comfort in that. Great comfort! But we should have been dead. He died, and He rose. There is not for us simply a settling of the old score, but a new life, and a new kind of life.

In this Joseph picture the whole thing comes out, for this man Joseph has a resurrection to his father and to his family, and to the whole world. He reveals rare resurrection power, too. He becomes a king in effect. In his humiliation, if you will mark it keenly, other nations joined his own family in his shameful treatment, and now as king he ministers not simply to his own Hebrew brothers and family, but prac­tically to all the nations of the earth, because Egypt was a world-power. As premier he ministered to, as he ruled over, the world-empire of his time.

And the fact of substitution comes out in this Joseph picture likewise. If you step off a bit to get the larger perspective you see very quickly this, that Joseph by his suffering was the means of his family, and of his nation, as it became a nation, coming into new life. Through his suffering there came to his clan, to the tribes, to the nation, life, a national life. The etching of substitution is quite clear in the Joseph picture.

The last of these pictures is that of David. Per­sonally he was of unusual excellence and wisdom; in his personal appearance goodly, and acting in rare wisdom in his dealings with the king. He was chosen king: he was fought by a traitor prince; he was sub­jected to the keenest kind of suffering for years, both of body and of mind and of spirit. If you would know how keenly David suffered, read Psalm Twenty- two, and Psalm Sixty-nine; not stopping there just now except to remember this, that these Psalms were written out of David’s experience during the time of his suffering. We think of them, and rightly, as be­longing to our Lord. They have their full fulfilment in Him without doubt, but—but David wrote down Psalm Twenty-two and Psalm Sixty-nine, not to speak of others, out of his own throbbing, quivering heart.

And if you will step still further off for better perspective, you will find substitution in this picture. Because David’s suffering was all undeserved; he suf­fered because of the sin, the hatred, the enmity, the envy of another one. He suffered death in intent, in Saul's intent. Through that suffering his nation came into its great life as a nation. And the nation realised that, and gave him the full love of their hearts in rare degree. He was in effect his nation’s substitute- saviour, because through his suffering all those years, and through his death in intent, his nation came into its life, its great life as a nation.

These are the four simple pictures I bring in this very brief way, but enough, I trust, to send us all to our Bibles anew, to see how much God’s plan of sac­rifice is here, and how plain are the foreshadowings of the Cross back in the lives of these men in the older part of this Book.