The following quote is taken from a meditation Rev. Gerrit Vos (pastor of Hudsonville PRC at the time) wrote for the March 1, 1964 issue of The Standard Bearer (Vol.40, #11), in connection with the church’s remembrance of the suffering and death of her Lord Jesus Christ. It is based on Matt.16:21, “From that time forth began Jesus to shew unto His disciples, how that He must go unto Jerusalem, and suffer many things of the elders, and chief priests, and scribes, and be killed, and be raised again the third day.”
Later, these meditations such as these were pulled together and published by the Men’s Society of Hudsonville PRC under the title The Unspeakable Gift: The Gift of God’s Son – Selected Meditations. This book is available through the Reformed Book Outlet in Hudsonville, MI.
Rev.Vos was gifted with a unique style of writing, a style that matched the intent of a meditation well (As did his preaching!). That is reflected in these words that form the closing part of the above-linked meditation. May its reflection on the gracious gift of God’s Son for us sinners serve to stir our souls and fill our mouths with humble thanks and praise to the God of our salvation.
However, when that happens, do not despair. But, rather, rejoice, and be very glad, for such was done primarily to Jesus, and to you for Jesus’ sake.
Partake of Jesus’ suffering, and . . . you will also partake in His glory.
For that is the third part of God’s program which must come to pass.
Although it seemed as though all was lost when Jesus hung on the accursed tree, He, nevertheless, obtained a glorious victory.
All the foregoing, no matter how horrible, was eternally necessary.
Jesus is the great Vicar, Substitute. Jesus is the Substitute for the elect church, which in itself is damn-worthy.
And Jesus takes over all their damn-worthiness and in their stead treads the weary pathway to everlasting death and condemnation.
And the elders, chief priests and scribes are the agents of God. Look up Acts 4:27, 25.
Necessary, I said. It was the only way of God’s wisdom. Only through the horrible spectacle of Golgotha could God come to the highest glory of His name. It took that Cross to reveal just how lovely and attractive our God is.
Looking at that bleeding Lamb unto all eternity it will not be too long to tell of His praises and to tell of His dory.
The cross of Jesus tells us of a lovingkindness that beggars description. Imagine, God Himself goes to hell for such worms as we are.
God does not need us at all. He is the Self-Sufficient in Himself. He needs no world, no angels, no elect men, no heavenly music and chorus of millions of voices in order to enjoy Himself unto all eternity.
He has His everlasting Covenant life in Himself, and is happy.
God was happy in eternity before the world was.
He does not need the creature.
But He wanted to show to untold millions how limitless is His love and lovingkindness. He wanted to make His Name and His power known, and so He willed the wicked and the devils and the hosts with their devilish howling about that Cross and that Suffering Servant of Jehovah. He wanted the Blood of the Innocent as a Testimony of the everlasting power of His love.
Oh yes, we see it, we love it, we adore it, and we sing of it. And we shall never grow tired of telling Him how we love Him.
And so our Jesus rose from the dead, and took our glorified new nature smith Him to heaven. And He works in heaven, and shall work until all the saints are safe and time ended.
In your suffering, shame and reproach, remember: God loves you!