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Towering o'Er the Wrecks of Time

Towering o'Er the Wrecks of Time

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Published by glennpease

TOWERING O'ER THE WRECKS OF TIME

BY MALCOLM JAMES McLEOD


'And I, if I he lifted up from the earth, mill
draw all men unto me." — John 12: 32.

TOWERING O'ER THE WRECKS OF TIME

BY MALCOLM JAMES McLEOD


'And I, if I he lifted up from the earth, mill
draw all men unto me." — John 12: 32.

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Published by: glennpease on Feb 28, 2013
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TOWERING O'ER THE WRECKS OF TIMEBY MALCOLM JAMES McLEOD'And I, if I he lifted up from the earth, mill
draw all men unto me." John 12: 32.IN the Gospel of John we meetthis expression three times. Inthe third chapter we read thatas "Moses lifted up the serpentin the wilderness even so mustthe Son of man be lifted up."In the eighth chapter and the twenty-eighthverse we read, ' * When ye have lifted up the Sonof man then shall ye know that I am he and thatI do nothing of myself." And in this passagewe are told "I, if I be lifted up from the earth,will draw all men unto me," to which John adds,**This he said signifying what death he shoulddie." So beyond all doubt the reference eachtime is to His crucifixion on the cross. It is an-other triumphant song in the night.It will be observed of course that the wordshave a double meaning. They are true literallyand they are true spiritually. He was lifted upliterally on a cross and spiritually that cross hasbecome a throne to which He is drawing the veryworld He came to redeem. That is to say, when-106**Zbc Mrecfts of Uime** i07ever men have been brought face to face with thecross and have stood before it reverently, theyhave always been drawn to the person hangingon it with a strange compelling interest. TheChrist whom Christianity has worshipped hasalways been a Christ who died. Like thesepowerful magnets which you will see carriedevery evening through the work rooms of ourlarge millinery shops, picking up the pins andneedles dropped by the workers during the day,so Christ lifted up on the cross is drawing toHimself, with a mighty magnetic charm, allclasses of men and women who have fallen by thewayside and raising them up to hope and courageand purity and peace. Love sent Him down toearth to seek the lost and love lifted Him upfrom the earth to save the lost. His life charmsus, His example inspires us, His miracles astonishus, but it is His death that draws us.One of the many remarkable features about
 
the Bible is the way it records the passion of ourLord. Almost one-third of Matthew's story,about two-fifths of Mark's, one-fourth of Luke'sand well-nigh half of John's relate to eventswithin one week of the end. Of John's twenty-one chapters the last nine are taken up with thelast twenty-four hours of this wonderful life.Only two of the Evangelists tell the story of Hisbirth, only two tell the story of His temptation,only two recount the sermon on the mount, butt08 ''Songs in tbe mght**every one of them enlarges on the tragedy of His death. And the way they describe it isstriking. They all tell it in a unique way. Thereis no comment. There are very few adjectives.Indeed the scarcity of adjectives is very notice-able. In its self-restraint it is a truly astonish-ing narrative. It is aU told so calmly. There isnot a sigh, not a tear, not a single remark aboutthe cold cruelty of the deed. ' * The style of theGospel, ' ' says Pascal, * ' is admirable in many re-spects and amongst others in this, that there isnot a single invective against the murderers andenemies of Jesus Christ. ' ' The language is soberand restrained. There is no straining after effect.There are no "patches of purple rhetoric." Itis all recorded with such seeming indifference.The most awful facts are written down in thesimplest, coolest way. In sheer frankness it islike the tale of a little child. "And sitting downthey watched Him there."Now the first thing that strikes us as we eon-template these words is the genuine ring of con-fidence there is in them. One cannot fail to ob-serve that. They are spoken in a tone almost of  jubilant rapture. It is indeed a lilt in the night.Our Lord knew what was before Him, He knewHe was to suffer ; He knew He was to die, and Heknew He was to die a violent death. And yet weobserve that His answer is one of victory, not of defeat. "Who for the joy that was set before
*Ube Wrecfts ot Uime" jo?him endured the cross, despising the shame.""If you ask me," says Savonarola, as he wasbeing led to the stake, ' ' what shall be in generalthe issue of this struggle, I reply Victory. If you ask me what shall be the issue in the par-ticular sense, I reply Death. ' ' It was the answerof a seer. It was the answer of the prophet of 
 
Galilee.And we cannot very well help asking the ques-tion, have the words before us been verified?Have they been substantiated? Have they beenfulfilled? Have they come true? Or are theya mere idle boast which has been completelynegatived by the facts? Let us approach thisquestion in the spirit of sober inquiry, and letus begin with the light of history.And in order to do this fairly and impartiallylet us observe at the outset one or two things.There is first of all the condition stated. It isnot temporal, mark; it is conditional. It doesnot say, "When I am lifted up." Some wouldread it that way but it is not an accurate render-ing. The text says, "If I be lifted up." It isif, not when. The clause is hjrpothetical. Christis not concerned with the time but with the re-sults of His passion. He saw the real signifi-cance of His own death. To His followers Hiscrucifixion seemed His doom. They felt sure itsealed His fate. They felt confident it meantHis permanent overthrow. They did not realizeno ''Songs in tbe niQbt**until afterwards that it behooved the Christ tosuffer and to enter into His glory.It is a notable and undeniable fact that ourLord Himself looked forward to His death forthe most far-reaching and compelling results.He was always anticipating it and preparing Hisdisciples for it before it came. The cross was theone divine event towards which His whole min-istry moved. He came to give His life a ransomfor many. In our text He declares it is going toattract the attention of the world when it comes.It is going to carry with it elements of perma-nent and paramount surprise. It is not to besimply a sentimental spectacle evoking sympathyand pity. It is going to be a great and mightyinfluence, the putting in operation of a new law,and a new truth, that is to rule forever the heartsand lives of men.And strange to say, history substantiates thechallenge. Every one knows who has tried itthat when we really set about trying to save menfrom their sins the cross is our master weapon.I know there is another Christianity in the worldto-day. We are hearing a great deal about it.Many object to the word blood. It jars upontheir delicate refinement. We hear men talk 

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