You probably know that Calvary was a place close to Jerusalem, where the
Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, was crucified. We know nothing else about
Calvary beside this. I call this tract "Calvary," because I am going to
speak to you about the
sufferings and crucifixion of Christ.

I am afraid that much ignorance prevails among people on the subject of
Jesus Christ's sufferings. I suspect that many see no peculiar glory and
beauty in the history of the crucifixion: on the contrary; they think it
painful, humbling, and degrading. They do not see much profit in the story
of Christ's death and sufferings: they rather turn from it as an unpleasant

Now I believe that such persons are quite wrong. I cannot agree with
them. I believe it is an excellent thing for us all to be continually
dwelling on the crucifixion of Christ. That is a good thing to be often
reminded how Jesus was betrayed into the hands of wicked men,-how they
condemned Him with most unjust judgment,-how they spit on Him, scourged Him,
beat Him, and crowned Him with thorns,-how they led Him forth as a lamb to
the slaughter, without His murmuring or resisting, -how they drove the nails
through His hands and feet, and set Him on Calvary between two thieves, how
they pierced His side with a spear, mocked Him in His suffering, and let Him
hang there naked and bleeding till He died. Of all these things, I say, it
is good to be reminded. It is not for nothing that the crucifixion is
described four times over in the New Testament. There are very few things
that all the four writers of the Gospel describe: generally speaking, if
Matthew, Mark, and Luke tell a thing in our Lord's history, John does not
tell it; but there is one thing that all the four give us most fully, and
that one thing is the story of the cross. This is a telling fact, and not to
be overlooked.

People seem to me to forget that all Christ's sufferings at Calvary were

fore-ordained. They did not come on Him by chance or accident: they
were all planned, counselled, and determined from all eternity; the cross
was foreseen, in all the provisions of the everlasting Trinity for the
salvation of sinners. In the purposes of God the cross was set up from
everlasting. Not one throb of pain did Jesus feel, not one precious drop of
blood did Jesus shed, which had not been appointed long ago. Infinite wisdom
planned that redemption should be by the cross: infinite wisdom brought
Jesus to the cross in due time. He was crucified by the determinate counsel
and foreknowledge of God.

People seem to me to forget that all Christ's sufferings at Calvary were

necessary for man's salvation. He had to bear our sins, if ever they
were to be borne at all: with His stripes alone could we be healed. This was
the one payment of our debts that God would accept; this was the great
sacrifice on which our eternal life depended. If Christ had not gone to the
cross and suffered in our stead, the just for the unjust, there would not
have been a spark of hope for
us; there would have been a mighty gulf
between ourselves and God, which no man ever could have passed. The cross
was necessary, in order that there might be an atonement for

People seem to me to forget that all Christ's sufferings were endured

and of His own free will. He was under no compulsion: of His
own choice He laid down His life: of His own choice He went to Calvary to
finish the work He came to do. He might easily have summoned legions of
angels with a word, and scattered Pilate and Herod, and all their armies,
like chaff before the wind; but He was a willing sufferer: His heart was set
on the salvation of sinners. He was resolved to open a fountain for all sin
and uncleanness, by shedding His own blood.

Reader, when I think of all this, I see nothing painful or disagreeable
in the subject of Christ's crucifixion; on the contrary, I see in it wisdom
and power, peace and hope, joy and gladness, comfort and consolation. The
more I keep the cross in my mind's eye, the more fulness I seem to discern
in it; the longer I dwell on the crucifixion in my thoughts, the more I am
satisfied that there is more to he learned at Calvary than anywhere else in
the world.

Would I know the length and breadth of
God the Father's love
towards a sinful world? Where shall I see it most displayed? Shall I look at
His glorious sun, shining down daily on the unthankful and evil? Shall I
look at the seed time and harvest, returning in regular yearly succession?
Oh, no! I can find a stronger proof of love than anything of this sort. I
look at the cross of Christ: I see in it not
the cause of the
Father's love, but the
effect. There I see that God so loved this
wicked world, that He gave His only begotten Son,-gave Him to suffer and
die-that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have eternal
life. I know that the Father loves us, because He did not withhold from us
His Son, His only Son. Ah, reader, I might sometimes fancy that God the
Father is too high and holy to care for such miserable, corrupt creatures as
we are: but I cannot, must not, dare not think it, when I look at Christ's
sufferings on Calvary.

Would I know how exceedingly
sinful and abominable sin is in the
sight of God? Where shall I see that most fully brought out? Shall I turn to
the history of the flood, and read how sin drowned the world? Shall I go to
the shore of the Dead Sea, and mark what sin brought on Sodom and Gomorrah?
Shall I turn to the wandering Jews, and observe how sin has scattered them
over the face of the earth? No: I can find a clearer proof still, I look at
what happened on Calvary. There I see that sin is so black and damnable that
nothing but the blood of God's own Son can wash it away; there I see that
sin has so separated me from my holy Maker that all the angels in heaven
could never have made peace between us: nothing could reconcile us, short of
the death of Christ. Ah, if I listened to the wretched talk of proud men I
might sometimes fancy sin was not so very sinful; but I cannot think little
of sin when I look at Calvary.

Would I know the fullness and completeness of the salvation God has
provided for sinners? Where shall I see it most distinctly? Shall I go to
the general declarations in the Bible about God's mercy? Shall I rest in the
general truth that God is a God of love? Oh, no! I will look at the
crucifixion at Calvary. I find no evidence like that: I find no balm for a
sore conscience and a troubled heart like the sight of Jesus dying for me on
the accursed tree. There I see that a full payment has been made for all my
enormous debts. The curse of that law which I have broken, has come down on
One who there suffered in my stead; the demands of that law are all
satisfied: payment has been made for me even to the uttermost farthing. It
will not be required twice over. Ah, I might sometimes imagine I was too bad
to be forgiven; my own heart sometimes whispers that I am too wicked to be
saved. But I know in my better moments this is all my foolish unbelief; I
read an answer to my doubts in the blood shed on Calvary. I feel sure that
there is a way to heaven for the very vilest of men, when I look at the

Would I find strong
reasons for being a holy man? Whither shall I
turn for them? Shall I listen to the ten commandments merely? Shall I study
the examples given me in the Bible of what grace can do? Shall I meditate on
the rewards of heaven, and the punishments of hell? Is there no stronger
motive still? Yes: I will look at Calvary and the crucifixion. There I see
the love of Christ constraining me to live not unto myself, but unto Him:
there I see that I am not my own now,-I am bought with a price: I am bound
by the most solemn obligations to glorify Jesus with body and spirit, which
are His. There I see that Jesus gave Himself for me, not only to redeem me
from iniquity, but also to purify me, and make me one of a peculiar people,
zealous of good works. He bore my sins in His own body on the tree, that I
being dead unto sin should live unto righteousness. Ah, reader, there is
nothing so sanctifying as a clear view of the cross of Christ! It crucifies
the world unto us, and us unto the world. How can we love sin when we
remember that because of our sins Jesus died? Surely none ought to be so
holy as the disciples of a crucified Lord.

Would I
learn how to be contented and cheerful under all the cares
and anxieties of life? What school shall I go to? How shall I attain this
state of mind most easily? Shall I look at the sovereignty of God, the
wisdom of God, the providence of God, the love of God? It is well to do so:
but I have a better argument still. I will look at Calvary and the
crucifixion. I feel that He who spared not His only begotten Son but
delivered Him up to die for me, will surely with
Him give me all
things that I really need: He that endured that pain for my soul, will
surely not withhold from me anything that is really good: He that has done
the greater things for me, will doubtless do the lesser things also. He that
gave His own blood to procure me a home, will unquestionably supply me with
all that is really profitable for me by the way. Ah, reader, there is no
school for learning contentment that can be compared with Calvary and the
foot of the cross.

Would I gather
arguments for hoping that I shall never be cast away?
Where shall I go to find them? Shall I look at my own graces and gifts?
Shall I take comfort in my own faith and love, and penitence and zeal, and
prayer? Shall I turn to my own heart, and say, "This same heart will never
be false and cold"? Oh, no! God forbid! I will look at Calvary and the
crucifixion. This is my grand argument: this is my mainstay. I cannot think
that He who went through such sufferings to redeem my soul, will let that
soul perish after all, when it has once cast itself on Him. Oh, no! What
Jesus paid for Jesus will surely keep. He paid dearly for it: He will not
let it easily be lost. He died for me when I was yet a dark sinner: He will
never forsake me after I have believed. Ah, reader, when Satan tempts you to
doubt whether Christ's people will be kept from falling, you should tell
Satan that you cannot despair when you look at the cross. And now, reader,
will you marvel when I say that all Christians ought to make much of the
crucifixion? Will you not rather wonder that any can hear of Christ's
sufferings on Calvary and remain unmoved? I declare I know no greater proof
of man's depravity than the fact that thousands of so-called Christians see
nothing lovely in the cross. Well may our hearts be called stony, well may
the eyes of our mind be called blind, well may our whole nature be called
diseased, well may we all be called dead,-when the cross of Christ is heard
of, and yet neglected. Surely we may take up the words of the prophet, and
say, "Hear, O heavens, and be astonished, O earth: a wonderful and horrible
thing is done," -Christ was crucified for sinners, and yet many Christians
live as if He was never crucified at all!

Reader, if you never thought much about Calvary and the crucifixion
before,-I trust you will have learned something today.

© Bible
Bulletin Board, P.O. Box 119, Columbus, NJ, 08022, USA