by John Calvin (compiled by John H. Kromminga)
Where they crucified him, and two others with him, on either side one, and Jesus in the midst. —John 19:18
"And two others with him, on either side one, and Jesus in the midst." As if the severity of the punishment had not been sufficient of itself, he is hanged in the midst between two robbers, as if he not only had deserved to be classed with other robbers, but had been the most wicked and the most detestable of them all.
And if there were the best reasons for the purpose of God in all those things which he determined that his Son should suffer, we ought to consider on the one hand the dreadful weight of his wrath against sin, and on the other hand his infinite goodness towards us. In no other way could our guilt be removed than by the Son of God becoming a curse for us.
We see him driven out into an accursed place, as if he had been polluted by a mass of all sorts of crimes, that there he might appear to be accursed before God and men. Assuredly we are terribly stupid if we do not plainly see in this mirror with what abhorrence God regards sin; and we are harder than stones if we do not tremble at such a judgment as this.
When on the other hand God declares that our salvation was so dear to him that he did not spare his only-begotten Son, what abundant goodness and what astonishing grace do we here behold! Whoever, then, takes a just view of the causes of the death of Christ, together with the advantage which it yields to us, will not, like the Greeks, regard the doctrine of the cross as foolishness, nor, like the Jews, will he regard it as an offence, but rather as an invaluable token and pledge of the power and wisdom and righteousness and goodness of God. —Commentaries
John Calvin was the premier theologian of the Reformation, but also a pious and godly Christian pastor who endeavored throughout his life to point men and women to Christ. We are grateful to Reformation Heritage Books for permission to use John Calvin's Thine Is My Heart as our daily devotional for 2013 on the OPC Web site. You can currently obtain a printed copy of that book from Reformation Heritage Books.
Dr. Joel Beeke, who is editorial director of Reformation Heritage Books, has this to say:
"Calvin shows us the piety of a Reformed theologian who speaks from the heart. Having tasted the goodness and grace of God in Jesus Christ, he pursued piety by seeking to know and do God’s will every day. He communed with Christ, practicing repentance, self-denial, and cross-bearing. Moreover, his theology worked itself out in heart-felt, Christ-honoring piety. The selections of this devotional bear this out, and hopefully will be used by God to direct pious hearts in our own day."
These devotional readings from John Calvin were compiled by John H. Kromminga. Be sure to read his "Introduction" to John Calvin's Thine Is My Heart.