The fathomless mystery of the Cross!
(Alexander Smellie, "On the Secret Place" 1907)
"From the sixth hour until the ninth hour, darkness came over all the land!" Matthew 27:45
With bowed head and an adoring heart, I draw near to the crucifixion-darkness of Christ's suffering and my salvation. I think of the fathomless mystery of the Cross!
On Calvary, I am within the clouds of God's eternal purpose. The beginning of His grace in Jesus Christ, is beyond my reach. He loved me from eternity — before the foundations of the earth were laid! How can I comprehend it, this everlastingness of redemption? Yet it should be my joy to ponder it. If He has cared for me from eternity past — I may be assured of His sustaining me through an incalculable future.
But on Calvary, too, I am within the clouds of God's immeasurable sorrow. There are secrets of unfathomable anguish here, with which I dare not meddle. This is a midnight blackness before which the angels must veil their faces with their wings. "God — forsaken by God!" Luther exclaimed, "who can understand it?" I tread softly — the place is holy ground. Yes — but happy ground, since He has redeemed me. My Savior was made a curse for me — that I might be a child forever within His heavenly home!
On Calvary, moreover, I am within the clouds of God's ineffable wisdom. The Cross of Jesus has been the central theme in the study of the profoundest Christian thinkers — and none of them has exhausted the theme. It is God's most wondrous work — God's last word. I can never explain it fully. But I perceive that it glorifies both the inflexible holiness of my Judge — and the unfathomable love of my Father! This I am sure of, that it gives me an unveiling of His many-sided attributes and perfections, such as I cannot gain anywhere else.
Shrouded in the darkness — Christ gained new beauty, new worth, new dominion. It was in crucifixion-darkness, that His glory shone most brightly forth. Now He was invested with the Calvary-attraction which draws me to Him.
May the thick crucifixion-darkness be an ever-opening secret between Him and me. Out of the shadows, may the beams of divine hope and love pour into my soul. Jesus sacrificed for my sins — may He be all my salvation and all my desire!