Victory Through The Cross Of Christ Part 1
In this story from John 19, we see God the Father attain, for us, victory through the cross of Christ. Shane Johnson describes the sufferings of Christ on our behalf . To read part 2 of the story, click here.
The Victory At Vimy Ridge
In France there stands a monument which commemorates the pivotal battle fought by the Canadians on Vimy Ridge. The outcome of this battle, looking back, ended up signalling the beginning of the end of WWI. The British and French had tried to capture the ridge which had been held by the Germans for years, but could not capture the ridge. The Canadians captured the ridge on April 9, 1917 on Easter Monday. That victory distinguished the Canadians as brave, dedicated and reliable soldiers, and according to some, was the defining moment which cemented the Canadian identity on the international scene.
The Victory On Calvary’s Ridge
The victory won at Vimy Ridge is similar to the victory won on Calvary’s Ridge. The cross signalled the beginning of the end of the war on sin. It defined and distinguished our God as a merciful and just General who will stop at nothing to deliver our souls from hell. To this day, there are monuments all over the world celebrating the great deliverance He accomplished there. The monuments of His remembrance are not monuments made of marble or stone, however, but monuments of simple bread and wine, elements which symbolize the body He used in order to bleed and die as a soldier for us.
The Day Of The Cross
The day of the cross is recorded for us in great detail in John chapter 19. Judging from the amount of material we find centered on the crucifixion of Christ – Matthew, Mark, Luke and John each devoting an entire chapter to it to conclude their gospel accounts – we can conclude that God so appreciated what His Son did in order to accomplish our redemption that He invites us to relish every precious detail.
John begins his account by saying, “Pilate took Jesus and scourged Him.” This verse takes one second for us to read but must have felt like hours to our Lord, as stroke after painful stroke slowly plowed open His back. Instead of praises our Lord received scourges.
He suffered Pilate to scourge Him. If Uzzah died for merely putting forth his hand to steady the ark, how much more should Pilate be guilty of having raised a whip to the Son of God? But His scourging was our scourging, and “by His stripes we are healed” (Isa. 53:5), so God allowed it. Jesus raised a whip of cords to cleanse the temple but in order to cleanse us the whip was turned on Himself.
The Sufferings Of Christ
Every verse of the sufferings of Christ is packed with poetry and meaning. Reading about the sufferings of Christ as recorded in the final chapters of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, to me, is like drinking from a pure waterfall. Looking upon the glory He displayed in those sufferings, to me, is like staring directly at the noon day sun.
Every verse, every word, every detail is meaningful on multiple levels. The crucifixion is the final act in the epic drama of redemption, and the heroism of our protagonist, the Lord Jesus Christ, rises to the highest pinnacle of grace and valour as He descends into the lowest valley of His humiliation.
Read Part 2 here.
Shane Johnson has been commended from Bethel-Park Bible Chapel since 1999. He resides in Brantford, Ontario with his wife Shelly and his five children. He has his Bachelor of Arts degree in English and a minor in History. His passions are teaching children, inspiring young people, writing, music and playing soccer.
You can listen to pod casts from Shane Johnson’s show, “Christ Up Close,” by clicking here.
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Images courtesy of:
Vimy Ridge: Labattblueboy
Christ Before Pilate: Mihály Munkácsy