Introduction and Annotations by Carroll F. Burcham
The justifying work of Calvary was God’s way, not only of bringing pardon, but of securing certainty.
At the cross the everlasting righteousness is found; human, yet divine: provided for man, and presented to him by God, for relief of conscience and justification of life. On the one word, “It is finished” as on a heavenly resting-place, weary souls sat down and were refreshed. The voice from the tree did not summon them to do, but to be satisfied with what was done. Millions of bruised consciences there found healing and peace. (Dr. Bonar wrote a hymn “By the Cross” that included these words in verse 1: By the cross of Jesus standing, Love our straitened souls expanding, Taste we now the peace and grace! Health from yonder tree is flowing, Heav’nly light is on it glowing, From the blessed Suff’rer’s face.) The belief of that finished work brought the sinner into favor with God; and it did not leave him in uncertainty as to this. The justifying work of Calvary was God’s way, not only of bringing pardon, but of securing certainty. It was the only perfect thing which had ever been presented to God in man’s behalf; and so peculiar was this perfection, that it might be used by man in his transactions with God, as if it were his own.