J. C. Ryle: The SON of the Solar System

Matthew 26:2 “You know that after two days the Passover is coming, and the Son of Man will be delivered up to be crucified.”

J.C. Ryle comments:

The connection of these words with the preceding chapter is exceedingly striking. Our Lord had just been dwelling on His own second coming in power and glory at the end of the world. He had been describing the last judgment, and all its dreadful accompaniments. He had been speaking of Himself as the Judge, before whose throne all nations would be gathered. And then at once, without pause or interval, He goes on to speak of His crucifixion. While the marvelous predictions of His final glory were yet ringing in the ears of His disciples, He tells them once and again of His coming sufferings. He reminds them that He must die as a sin-offering before He reigned as a king, that He must make atonement on the cross, before he took the crown.

We can never attach too much importance to the atoning death of Christ. It is the leading fact in the word of God, on which the eyes of our soul ought to be ever fixed. Without the shedding of his blood, there is no remission of sin. It is the cardinal truth on which the whole system of Christianity hinges. Without it the Gospel is an arch without a key-stone, a fair building without a foundation, a solar system without a sun. Let us make much of our Lord’s incarnation and example, His miracles and his parables, His works and His words, but above all let us make much of His death. Let us delight in the hope of his second personal coming and millennial reign, but let us not think more even of these blessed truths, than of the atonement on the cross. This, after all, is the master-truth of Scripture, that “Christ died for our sins.” To this let us daily return. On this let us daily feed our souls. Some, like the Greeks of old, may sneer at the doctrine, and call it “foolishness.” But let us never be ashamed to say with Paul, “Be it far from me to boast, except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ.” (Gal. 6:14.)