"In his greatest weakness he was most strong" (Jonathan Edwards on Christ's triumph through the cross)
We would all do well to listen intently to Jonathan Edwards in his sermon, The Excellencies of Christ. Continue reading . . .
We would all do well to listen intently to Jonathan Edwards in his sermon, The Excellencies of Christ:
It was in Christ’s last sufferings, above all, that he was delivered up to the power of his enemies, and yet by these, above all, he obtained victory over his enemies. Christ never was so in his enemies’ hands, as in the time of his last sufferings. They sought his life before, but from time to time they were restrained, and Christ escaped out of their hands. This reason is given for it: that his time was not yet come. But now they were suffered to work their will upon him, he was in a great degree delivered up to the malice and cruelty of both wicked men and devils. And therefore when Christ’s enemies came to apprehend him, he says to them, Luke 22:53, “When I was daily with you in the temple, ye stretched forth no hand against me: but this is your hour, and the power of darkness.”
And yet it was principally by means of those sufferings that he conquered and overthrew his enemies. Christ never so effectually bruised Satan’s head, as when Satan bruised his heel. The weapon with which Christ warred against the devil, and obtained a most complete victory and glorious triumph over him, was the cross, the instrument and weapon with which he thought he had overthrown Christ, and brought on him shameful destruction. Col. 2:14, 15, “Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances, — nailing it to his cross: and having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a show of them openly, triumphing over them in it.”
In his last sufferings, Christ sapped the very foundations of Satan’s kingdom. He conquered his enemies in their own territories, and beat them with their own weapons; as David cut off Goliath’s head with his own sword. The devil had, as it were, swallowed up Christ, as the whale did Jonah. But it was deadly poison to him: he gave him a mortal wound in his own bowels. He was soon sick of his morsel, and was forced to do by him as the whale did by Jonah. To this day he is heart-sick of what he then swallowed as his prey. . . .
Thus Christ appeared at the same time, and in the same act, as both a lion and a lamb. He appeared as a lamb in the hands of his cruel enemies, as a lamb in the paws and between the devouring jaws of a roaring lion. Yea, he was a lamb actually slain by this lion: and yet at the same time, as the Lion of the tribe of Judah, he conquers and triumphs over Satan, destroying his own devourer, as Samson did the lion that roared upon him, when he rent him as he would a kid. And in nothing has Christ appeared so much as a lion, in glorious strength destroying his enemies, as when he was brought as a lamb to the slaughter. In his greatest weakness he was most strong; and when he suffered most from his enemies, he brought the greatest confusion on his enemies. — Thus this admirable conjunction of diverse excellencies was manifest in Christ, in his offering up himself to God in his last sufferings.