Quiet Talks by Samuel Dickey: Gordon, Samuel Dickey - Quiet Talks About Calvary: 08. Our Lord's Purpose in Dying

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Quiet Talks by Samuel Dickey: Gordon, Samuel Dickey - Quiet Talks About Calvary: 08. Our Lord's Purpose in Dying

TOPIC: Gordon, Samuel Dickey - Quiet Talks About Calvary (Other Topics in this Collection)
SUBJECT: 08. Our Lord's Purpose in Dying

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Our Lord's Purpose in Dying

In speaking about the Calvary fact, I want, first, to have you notice about our Lord’s death that it was voluntary; it was purely of His own accord. Ten times over His enemies tried to lay hands upon Him, for the purpose of doing Him violence, or putting Him to death. In intent He was killed ten times be­fore Calvary, so far as they were concerned. Three times they sought directly to take His life; once at Nazareth over the precipice; and twice in Jerusalem by stoning. Each of these times they were held back by a power they could not define, and could not resist. And so when finally death came, it was through His yielding. They could never have taken His life had He not chosen to give His life. In a very real sense He gave His life. The dying was voluntary.

That being so, His purpose in yielding gives the whole meaning to His dying. Why did He die? Listen to His own words. And I shall take just a run now only through John’s Gospel. First:—In the third chapter, “as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilder- ness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up: that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have eternal life.” For Him “lifted up” meant death; and for them life; because of. His death there was life for them.

In the Sixth of St. John’s Gospel, “Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of Man, and drink His Blood,”— very plain words these—“ye have not life in your­selves,” and cannot have. He gave His body to the killing, and His blood to the shedding, He said, that men might have life in themselves.

In chapter ten, four times over one phrase occurs. In verse eleven, “The Good Shepherd layeth His life down for the sheep.” In verse fifteen: “I lay down My life for the sheep.” Mark that word “for”; that simple English preposition “for,” in its simplest sur­face meaning, has the whole truth of substitution in it. In verse seventeen: “Therefore doth My Father love Me, because I lay down My life for the sheep.” In verse eighteen, mark very keenly, “No one taketh it from Me; I lay it down of Myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again.”

In chapter thirteen of this same Gospel of John, He speaks again, when the Greeks came: “I, if I be lifted up from the earth, or out of the earth, will draw all men unto Myself.” “Lifted up” meant His dying. In chapter fifteen, “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.”

If you ask why He died, there are His own words. You know how I might run through Peter’s words, and John’s, and Paul’s, three men who spoke by in­spiration of the Holy Spirit sent down by that same Lord Jesus, but I can make the case no stronger than in His own words. And now add to these words from His own lips, a word that He acted on the night in which He was betrayed, just as He was giving His life up, when He had gathered the eleven men around Himself. He said these words, that have burned themselves into the whole Church, Roman, Greek, Anglican, Protestant, the universal Church—“This is My Body broken for you. This do as oft as ye eat it in remembrance of Me. . . . This is My blood of the New Testament shed for many for the remission of sins. Drink ye all, all of you, drink of it.”

And so very plainly, in His own purpose, our Lord, of His own accord, gave up His life on Calvary for others, and through giving up His life men are won back home to God. I might use Paul’s favourite word, “reconciled”; “God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself.” Through His death our sin-score is squared, and we have life. Marvellous Lord Jesus Christ! Marvellous death that He died! That I, who could not escape dying otherwise, might have life, eternal life, abundant life. That is the thought of His heart as He climbed the steep, rugged side of the Hill of the Cross.