“The death of Christ is the greatest demonstration of God’s love for man (John 3:16; Rom. 5:6-8). What love is this, when God did not spare His own Son but gave Him up to save His enemies (Rom. 8:32)!
It appeared to be a a tragic display of foolishness (1 Cor. 1:18), the waste of the best of lives, but in fact it revealed God’s wisdom and power to save sinners through the most amazing means (1 Cor. 1:23-25).
Furthermore, Christ spoke prophetic words in His passion, including His seven words, or sayings, from the cross, which revealed the following:
- God’s grace to forgive sinners through Christ: “Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do” (Luke 23:34).
- God’s salvation through Christ for the repentant: “Verily I say unto thee, Today shalt thou be with me in paradise” (Luke 23:43).
- God’s creation of a new spiritual family in Christ: “He saith unto his mother, Woman, behold thy son! Then saith he to the disciple, Behold thy mother! And from that hour that disciple took her unto his own home” (John 19:26-27).
- God’s abandonment of Christ to suffer divine judgment as He bore our sins: “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” (Mark 15:34).
- God’s fulfillment of His promises and prophecies in Christ: “Jesus knowing that all things were now accomplished, that the scripture might be fulfilled, saith, I thirst” (John 19:28).
- God’s complete accomplishment of salvation by Christ: “It is finished” (John 19:30).
- God’s acceptance of Christ’s spirit because He completed His work, in anticipation of His resurrection: “Father, into thy hands commend my spirit” (Luke 23:46).
Christ’s greatest revelation of God took place when His deity was most hidden in suffering and shame. This hidden revelation can be accessed only by faith, a a faith that humbles our pride “that no flesh should glory in his presence,” but “he that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord” (1 Cor. 1:29, 31).
Christ is the Prophet of the cross, and we can receive His revelation by the way of the cross.”
–Joel R. Beeke and Paul M. Smalley, Reformed Systematic Theology, Volume 2: Man and Christ (Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2020), 2: 959.