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The Wondrous Cross

by A. C. Gaebelein (1861-1945)

Arno C. GaebeleinWho can tell out the story of the cross! There was a time when we thought we knew much of it; but oh! the depths, the wonderful depths of the cross and the work accomplished there, which constantly break in upon the heart, as one meditates on the cross. One who knew the cross, whose eyes were filled with all its glory, because He beheld Him, who hung on the cross, in highest glory has told us "But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world" (Gal. 6:14). Crucified unto the world. Dead to the world and to sin are the blessed effects of the cross.

Some time ago while remembering the Lord on the Lord's Day we sang a familiar hymn:

When we survey the wondrous cross
  On which the Lord of glory died,
Our richest gain we count but loss,
  And pour contempt on all our pride.

How true!—contempt must be poured on all our pride when one beholds that sight, the cross on which the Lord of glory died. But is it so, "and pour contempt on all our pride?"

And when we sang the second verse its truth came home still more to the conscience:

Forbid it, Lord, that we should boast,
  Save in the death of Christ, our God;
All the vain things that charm us most,
  We'd sacrifice them to His blood.

How true! If such a one died to deliver us out of this present evil age then the vain things that charm us most, not the sinful things, must be relinquished. But is it really so—all the vain things that charm us most—we'd sacrifice them to His blood?

There from His head, His hands, His feet,
  Sorrow and love flowed mingled down;
Did e'er such love and sorrow meet,
  Or thorns compose so rich a crown?
Were the whole realm of nature ours,
  That were an off'ring far too small;
Love that transcends our highest powers
  Demands our soul, our life, our all.

And then once more the heart said, How true! Marvelous sight the Lord of Glory on that cross for me! Forsaken of God, paying the penalty of my sins, drinking the cup of wrath, untasted by me. Such love surely demands our soul, our life, our all. But is it so? How often we sing these blessed truths and our lives are strangers to them. God grant that we may live out the truth of the cross in our lives. May the deliverance, the victory, the power of His cross be manifested in our lives. Dead to the world and the world dead to me.

From The Lord of Glory... by A. C. Gaebelein. New York: Publication Office "Our Hope", ©1910.

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