It is gratefully and readily acknowledged by all believers that we will be eternally indebted to the Lord Jesus for His willingness to die in our stead. Like Pilgrim in John Bunyans allegory, we gladly confess that we have “joy from His sorrow and life by His death”. It is for that very reason that we feel constrained each Lords Day to “shew the Lords death till He come” 1Cor.11.26. It will elicit praise from our ransomed souls forever in heaven, as we are continually reminded that the slain Lamb is our only title to be there.
There is no greater proof of Gods love for sinners and no more convincing evidence that “God our Saviour will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth” 1Tim.2.3,4. It was for this very reason that Gods Son came into the world; He truly was born to die; to Him alone was entrusted the great work of redemption, and a plenary pardon has been secured for us by His atoning death upon the tree. On account of that “one sacrifice for sins” Heb.10.12, heaven will be populated righteously by sinners who deserved nothing but Divine retribution forever. By reason of the value and virtue of the Saviours vicarious sufferings, no believer in our Lord Jesus Christ can be refused entry to that celestial abode. “Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God ” Rom.8.34.
Christs all-sufficient death lies at the centre of the gospel and we affirm that His death alone can save sinners and deliver them from the just penalty of their sins. That was the message preached by the apostle Paul at Corinth, ” Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the scriptures” 1Cor.15.3,4. The entire superstructure of our salvation rests securely upon the silver sockets of redemption, as effected by the atoning death of Gods only Son.
As will be evident from the chapters of this book, the death of Christ was foretold by picture, promise and prophecy, and its transcending significance can be deduced by the numerous references and allusions to it throughout the inspired Writings. It was eagerly anticipated by past ages and will be gratefully remembered unto the ages of the ages.
Inscribed upon the Cross we see,
In shining letters, “God is love”;
The Lamb who died upon the tree
Has brought us mercy from above.
Once again we acknowledge with a sense of debt, the effort made and work produced by the contributing writers who, after diligent study and skilful composition, have produced another excellent volume in the “Glory” series. It is our prayer that our appreciation of the Saviour will be enhanced, our wonder will grow and our gratitude increase, as again and again in this book our thoughts are focussed on “the Son of God, who loved me, and gave Himself for me” Gal.2.20.
Roy Reynolds, N. Ireland, January 2015.