Friday, January 6, 2012

The Valley of the Shadow of Death

It was with surprise and a little dismay that I learned, awhile back, that there are those in the Reformed community who have not seen The Passion of the Christ. And would not see it.

Their reasoning runs like this: no visual representation  of the crucifixion could portray what actually happened on the cross. Jesus took my sins upon himself. He literally suffered the agonies of hell.
Read Spurgeon's commentary on the 22nd Psalm:

I'm sure that all Christians understand this as a "psalm of the cross." But Spurgeon does us the great service of rendering a phrase-by-phrase examination of this vivid description of the horrors of hell.
Most truly does the Apostles' Creed speak of Christ as having "descended into hell." 

Having seen The Passion several times, I can understand this view. What I saw, however, impressed upon me an idea (however incomplete) of the suffering that was done on my behalf. Those of you who have seen the film will recall the utter shock with which you left the movie theater. And the events shown were only the prelude to the cross. I can say that I needed to have these things forcefully impressed upon my heart.

So I would say, view the film, if you haven't. Then get "the rest of the story (the most important part)." Read Psalm 22 and meditate on its description of Christ's suffering. I recommend reading Spurgeon's in-depth comments on the psalm.

He also said this, in his introduction to the 23rd Psalm: "It is only after we have read, 'My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me!' that we come to 'The Lord is my Shepherd.'"

Only when I can comprehend the wrath of a Holy God against sin, that was poured out on the Suffering Servant, can I be truly grateful for the salvation that has been mercifully, graciously given to me.

Soli Deo Gloria.

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