“And the soldiers led Him away into the hall, called Praetorium; and they call together the whole band. And they clothed Him with purple, and platted a crown of thorns, and put it about His head. And began to salute Him, Hail, King of the Jews!

And they smote smote Him on the head with a reed, and did spit upon Him, and bowing their knees worshipped Him. And when they had mocked Him, they took the purple robe from Him, and put His own clothes on Him, and led Him out to crucify Him.

And when they had crucified Him, they parted His garments, casting lots upon them, what every man should take. And it was the third hour, and they crucified Him. And the superscription of His accusation was written over, THE KING OF THE JEWS. And with Him they crucify two thieves; the one on His right hand, and the other on His left. And the Scripture was fulfilled, which saith, And He was numbered with the transgressors.” (Mark 15: 16-20, 24-28).

Calvary, where we see God’s love at its best, and man’s sin at its worst! Calvary, where the son of God died, in order that the sons of men may live forever!

The passage we have now read is one of those which show us the infinite love of Christ towards sinners. The sufferings described in it would fill our minds with mingled horror and compassion, if they had been inflicted on one who was only a man like ourselves. But when we reflect that the sufferer was the eternal Son of God, we are lost in wonder and amazement.

And when we reflect further that these sufferings were voluntarily endured to deliver sinful men and women like ourselves from hell, we may see something of St. Paul’s meaning when he says, “The love of Christ passeth knowledge”. “God commendeth His love toward us in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” (Ephesians 3:19; Romans 5:8).
Here we see Jesus shedding His blood for sinners. His blood flowed freely from His head which was pierced with the thorns, from His hands and feet which were pierced with the nails, and from His side which was pierced with a spear.

Why was this? Only His blood could make atonement for man’s transgressions. Only His blood could pay man’s enormous debt to God. By His precious blood a road was made from Heaven to earth, by which God could come down to man. His blood made a road from earth to Heaven by which men can draw near to God, and yet not feel afraid. Without the shedding of the blood of Jesus there could have been no remission of sin.

Through the blood of Jesus Christ true Christians have peace with God. They are pardoned, and brought nigh to God. Here is rest and peace for the conscience. The blood of Jesus can cleanse you from all sin. Though your sins be as scarlet, they may be made white as snow. Here is the secret of a happy heart. Blessed be God, there is a fountain opened for sinners, even the precious blood of the Lamb, and washing daily in that fountain, we are clean from sin.

Let us leave the passage with a deep sense of the enormous debt which all believers owe to Christ. All they have, and are, and hope for, may be traced to the doing and dying of the Son of God. Through His condemnation, they have acquittal, -through His sufferings, peace, -through His shame, glory, -through His death, life. Their sins were imputed to Him. His righteousness is imputed to them. No wonder that St. Paul says, “Thanks be unto God for His unspeakable gift.” (2 Corinthians 9:15).

Finally, let us leave the passage with the deepest sense of Christ’s unutterable love to our souls. It should make us ready and willing to present our bodies a living sacrifice to Him who lived and died for us. (2 Corinthians 5:14, Romans 12:1). Let the cross of Christ be often before our minds. Rightly understood, no object in all Christianity is so likely to have a sanctifying as well as a comforting effect on our souls as the cross.

To be saved, is to be delivered in this present life from the power of sin, by receiving a new nature through the working of Christ’s spirit. It is to be freed from the hateful dominion of sin, the world, and the devil, by having a new nature put in us by the Holy Ghost. Whosoever is thus renewed in the spirit of his mind, is a saved soul. He shall not perish. He shall enter into the glorious kingdom of God.

“COME NOW, and let us readon together, saith the Lord: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as a wool. And the Spirit and the bride say, COME. And let him that heareth say, COME. And let him that is athirst COME. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.”

Do you want to receive the salvation from sin and forgiveness of God made available by the crucifixion of Jesus Christ at the cross of calvary? Pray to God now and acknowledge you are a sinner. Ask God to forgive your sins through the sacrifice of His son Jesus Christ. Invite the Lord Jesus Christ to be your Lord and Saviour and give you power to live for God’s glory for the rest of your life. If you do this sincerely, you will receive the peace of God and you will become a new creature in Christ Jesus and have your name written in the Lamb’s book of life in Heaven. God bless you as take this most important decision of your life.

(A message delivered by Dr. John Charles Ryle).

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