“No man can save his
Nor pay his brother’s debt,”
and how could He, how dare He, think of His life as the ransom for our forfeited lives, if He were only one like unto ourselves? There is but one explanation which does really explain all that Christ thought and taught concerning Himself; it is that given by the first disciples and re-echoed by every succeeding generation of Christians—
THE KING OF GLORY, O CHRIST.
THOU ART THE EVERLASTING SON OF THE FATHER.”
* * * * *
“While there is life in thee, in this death alone place thy trust, confide in nothing else besides; to this death commit thyself altogether; with this shelter thy whole self; with this death array thyself from head to foot. And if the Lord thy God will judge thee, say, Lord, between Thy judgment and me I cast the death of our Lord Jesus Christ; no otherwise can I contend with Thee. And if He say to thee, Thou art a sinner, say, Lord, I stretch forth the death of our Lord Jesus Christ between my sins and Thee. If He say, Thou art worthy of condemnation, say, Lord, I set the death of our Lord Jesus Christ between my evil deserts and Thee, and His merits I offer for those merits which I ought to have, but have not of my own. If He say that He is wroth with thee, say, Lord, I lift up the death of our Lord Jesus Christ between Thy wrath and me.”—ANSELM.
* * * * *
CONCERNING HIS OWN DEATH
"The Son of Man came
... to give His life a ransom for
many."—MARK X. 45.
The death of Jesus Christ has always held the foremost place in the thought and teaching of the Church. When St. Paul writes to the Corinthians, “I delivered unto you first of all that which also I received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures,” he is the spokesman of every Christian preacher and teacher, of the missionary of the twentieth century no less than of the first. It is with some surprise, therefore, we discover when we turn to the teaching of Jesus Himself, that He had so little to say concerning a subject of which His disciples have said so much. It is true that the Gospels, without exception, relate the story of Christ’s death with a fullness and detail which, in any other biography, would be judged absurdly out of proportion. But this, it is said, reveals the mind of the evangelists rather than the mind of Christ. And those who love that false comparison between the Gospels and the Epistles of which so much is heard to-day, have not been slow to seize upon this apparent discrepancy as another example of the way in which the Church has misunderstood and misinterpreted the simple message of the Galilean Prophet.