The Sunny Side of Calvary

 •  3 min. read  •  grade level: 5
Friend, have you ever thought of the love of God made known to us by the cross, in contrast to the love which God exacted from man before it? Under law the command went forth, "Thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might." (Dent. 6:5.)
Has man ever been capable of doing this? Also we read: "I the Lord thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate Me; and showing mercy unto thousands of them that love Me, and keep My commandments." To His people Israel, God announced that He would punish those who hated Him, and skew mercy to those who loved Him. This was law; "this do, and thou shalt live." Luke 10:2828And he said unto him, Thou hast answered right: this do, and thou shalt live. (Luke 10:28).
After the grievous and hopeless failure of man to abide by such demands made upon him, can we wonder that God should conclude all under sin that "every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God"? Rom. 3:1919Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God. (Romans 3:19). Dear reader, how will you escape this sentence? How will you please Him and live? To live forever in heavenly bliss is surely the desire of all.
Listen to the other side of the story— to the "sunny side of Calvary," as an old man was heard to say. "Law and demand and Sinai's thunders belong to the far side of the cross, to the shady side of Calvary." There, sad to say, many souls stay too long, seeking to satisfy their own consciences and the demands of a holy God by doing that which can never succeed— for how can tears and prayers and a good life atone for sins?
Beloved, we are now living on the "sunny side of Calvary"! God has been fully satisfied there. His Son came to die, the just One stood in the place of the unjust— in the place of those who had failed to love God. He has borne the burden and the penalty of sins, so that God can alter His proclamation now. Hence we read, "God commendeth His love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us." Rom. 5:88But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. (Romans 5:8). No longer is it, "Thou shalt love," but "God is love." What a change!
"Does God really love me all the time?" This was the touching question asked of one who was seeking to set forth these blessed truths. The questioner was a poor afflicted deaf-mute, who probably had been a long time on the "shady side" of the cross. Tears filled his eyes as his visitor gladly replied, "Yes, all the time. He loved you in the past and gave His Son for you. He loves you now and offers you salvation, and He will love you in heaven."
Do you doubt it, reader? Listen, "In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him. Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us, and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins." 1 John 4: 9, 10.
Before the cross God's forbearance with man was in exercise: He was passing over sins in view of the work of Christ which was to be. Now He is manifest in all the fullness of His love. In virtue of a finished work, every soul who accepts this may bask in the sunshine of God's love on the "sunny side of Calvary." Thankfully we can say: "being justified freely by His grace." Yes, God really loves us all the time! Do you believe it?