The Cross Part 12

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12. And not only so, but that a name and place such as His grace coveted; one whence he could give gifts to men-as Peter and John put it forward in chapter 4:10-12, " Be it known unto you all [ye rulers of the people and elders of Israel], and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom ye crucified, whom God raised from the dead, even by Him doth this man stand here before you whole. This is the stone which was set at naught of you builders, which is become the head of the corner. Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved."
And this is God's way of acting ever-to take up as means that which is in itself contemptible and despicable, as was the cross; though indeed it told what a heart was in Him. For thus He presents Himself, willing to endure all things, if He may but gain the place of Blesser; and while indeed the cross comports not well with man's high thoughts about himself and God, it most blessedly lays mercy as a suppliant at the poor self-reproaching sinner's feet. And oh! though to proud nature it is a very offensive thing, to see in the cross what torture it gave God to meet man in his present state-and how, in the way He did meet him, there is the full expression likewise of God's disgust at what we are in ourselves-yet oh! 'tis sweet to know the virtue of that blood which though in nature it speaks of sin and vileness, in the Spirit and grace whispers of its healing and cleansing power; and throws open to the sinner those deeper depths in God than any of His handiworks could speak. God used the Fall as the opportunity of opening grace, and so angels and principalities and all intelligent creation have a fuller display of God than ever was known before. And thus we see how That place of honor in heaven was one sought for in grace toward man, even as the cross was endured for man.