Quiet Talks by Samuel Dickey: Gordon, Samuel Dickey - Quiet Talks About Calvary: 11. The Cross

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Quiet Talks by Samuel Dickey: Gordon, Samuel Dickey - Quiet Talks About Calvary: 11. The Cross

TOPIC: Gordon, Samuel Dickey - Quiet Talks About Calvary (Other Topics in this Collection)
SUBJECT: 11. The Cross

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The Cross

is laid on the earth; the Man is laid upon it; the nails are driven, and the ropes made fast. And even as you hear the striking of the spikes, you can also hear a voice, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.” Then the Cross is lifted, and dropped into the hole in the ground, and the weight of the Man comes sagging down on spikes and rope. And there up above the earth, before all the crowd, He hangs. It is nine o’clock in the morning, and the deed has been done, and the real Calvary is begun.

Here are the soldiers gambling for His garments; and here is the inscription to which they object, “The King of the Jews.” But it remains, and He is cruci­fied, not as a Man simply, but as a King, as a Man and a King. And then comes the last coarse jesting and jeering. The crowd cries out, “Come down from the cross, thou mighty man, come down”—sneeringly. And the chief priests, those aristocrats, have dignified the occasion with their presence, and they cry out, “He saved others; Himself He cannot save.” With a truth far greater than they knew, He could not save Himself and save others too.

And the thieves hanging by His side, one here, one there, cast the same reviling in His teeth. But in the midst of it, this thief, watching His face, marvels, and is caught, and you can hear his words in the midst of his pain, “Remember me when Thou comest into Thy kingdom.” And the Master forgets the pain of body, and the pain of spirit, to turn His whole heart toward a man hungering for the kingdom,—“Today shalt thou be with Me in Paradise.” Ah! the passion of His heart for men was never lost, even in the midst of the awful suffering and pain. Here is a friendly group with His mother and John. And His voice is heard again, “Mother, behold thy son . . .son, thy mother”; thinking about her, planning for her, as He hangs in the agony of that awful death.

And that goes on from nine to noon. But there is one man in the crowd who is strangely stirred. His name is Barabbas. Yonder he stands. Ask Barabbas what he thinks about substitution, will you? He looks over with his sin-coarsened face, and says, “That Jesus is where I should be. I deserve that.

I know it. I was to have been there, and He is there instead.” And, for my part, I doubt not that the suffering of the divine Substitute on his behalf, touched his heart, and changed his heart, even as that thief was changed.

Then the strange darkness came, and for three ‘ hours the Master hung there through that strange, awful darkness. And then, as the hour of three drew on, the time of the Jewish evening sacrifice, there bursts a cry, a great heartbreaking cry, from Jesus’ lips,

“My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken Me ?” Then there is silence again; and then the voice comes again, “I thirst.” And then there is a great shout, as if the Master was giving out all His strength in a great cry that rang out, the cry of the Victor that rang out to all around that Calvary hill,—“It is fin­ished !” And quietness again.

And then the last soft utterance came, “My Father, into Thy hands I commend My Spirit.” And He gave up the ghost. Even yet He did not die as men die; for the language used by the Gospels is not the lan­guage of a man dying. He gave up, He yielded up

His Spirit! And the work was done. The Calvary fact was accomplished.

“I gave My life for thee,

My precious blood I shed,

That thou might'st ransomed be,

And quickened from the dead”

Down from the Cross rings that line through all the ages since,—

" I gave, I gave My life for thee”