There are four words which every one of us should consider in connection with Christ’s death at Calvary if we would fully appreciate what our Savior did for us there.
It is doubtful whether man has ever conceived a more cruel and humiliating way to execute even the vilest criminals. The physical agony alone must have been horrible beyond comprehension. The criminal was nailed to a tree and left to hang there, writhing in the most intense pain until, fevers wracking his body, he died. And then think of the humiliation as he hung there, stripped and naked, to suffer shame and disgrace before the public gaze. Little wonder Phil. 2:8 says that Christ humbled Himself to become obedient “unto death, even the death of the cross.”
We have not even begun to understand the cross if we do not understand that Christ died there as our Substitute, paying for our sins.
“Christ died for our sins” (I Cor. 15:3). “His own self bare our sins in His own body on the tree” (1 Pet. 2:24).
But Christ was more than our Substitute; He was our voluntary Representative at Calvary. He had taken on Himself human form that He might represent man before God and die as Man for men.
“As it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment, so Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many…” (Heb. 9:27, 28).
“[He] was made… lower than the angels… that He by the grace of God should taste death for every man” (Heb. 2:9).
It follows from this that if Christ represented me at Calvary, He became identified with me there, and I am identified with Him as I accept this by faith. Hence Paul exclaims:
“I am crucified with Christ, nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh, I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me” (Gal. 2:20).
To the Reader:
Some of our Two Minutes articles were written many years ago by Pastor C. R. Stam for publication in newspapers. When many of these articles were later compiled in book form, Pastor Stam wrote this word of explanation in the Preface:
"It should be borne in mind that the newspaper column, Two Minutes With the Bible, has now been published for many years, so that local, national and international events are discussed as if they occurred only recently. Rather than rewrite or date such articles, we have left them just as they were when first published. This, we felt, would add to the interest, especially since our readers understand that they first appeared as newspaper articles."
To this we would add that the same is true for the articles written by others that we continue to add, on a regular basis, to the Two Minutes library. We hope that you'll agree that while some of the references in these articles are dated, the spiritual truths taught therein are timeless.