THE HEIGHT AND BREADTH OF THE CROSS


by Elder T. L. Blalock (1865-1960)
China Missionary


     "Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God." Hebrews 12:2.


     To me, this series of the wonders of Calvary will not be complete without another word along the line of the above heading.   The more we study this subject, the deeper its mystery and the glory of the Cross become.   We have sought to bring out, in a limited way, its glory, and God's purpose in the Cross; but there are yet heights of glory we have failed to set forth.   We have yet to call attention to the unlimited height and breadth of God's eternal purpose in the Cross.

     As we study further, God's revelation, to the end of the Bible, we will have brought before us more that the heart of human intelligence could have dreamed.   Let us then, begin to examine some of God's own revelation of this subject, that we have not yet mentioned.

     "And I wept much, because no man was found worthy to open and to read the book, neither to look thereon.   And one of the elders saith unto me, Weep not: behold, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, hath prevailed to open the book, and to loose the seven seals thereof.   And I beheld, and, lo, in the midst of the throne and of the four beasts, and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb as it had been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God sent forth into all the earth.   And he came and took the book out of the right hand of him that sat upon the throne.   And when he had taken the book, the four beasts and four and twenty elders fell down before the Lamb, having every one of them harps, and golden vials full of odours, which are the prayers of saints.   And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation;   And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth." (Revelation 5:4-10)

     Here we have what must be the worship and praise of the host of redeemed saints, led in praise by four living creatures and the twenty-four elders.   They fell down and worshiped the Lamb "everyone of them having harps and golden vials full of odours which are the prayers of the saints."   Down through the ages, since the crucifixion, the saints have been sending their prayers to the throne of God--"Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven."   God has not been unmindful of these prayers, and the time is at hand when they shall see and rejoice in the answers to their heart's cry.

     One other very wonderful fact brought out in this passage, is that it appears that the whole redeemed host of saints is there, and join in that new song of praise to the slain Lamb, saying, "thou hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred and tongue, and people and nation.   And hath made us unto our God kings and priests:   and we shall reign on earth." (Revelation 5:9,10).

     What is the center and heart of their praise and their adoration and worship?   The slain Lamb!

     Now we come to a great host, an innumerable company of angels, a host that are now redeemed ones giving praise and glory to the slain Lamb.   "And I beheld, and I heard the voice of many angels round about the throne and the beasts and the elders: and the number of them was ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands;   Saying with a loud voice, Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing." (Revelation 5:11,12).   This shows how the angels are interested in our redemption, and give glory to the slain Lamb.   Note too, that the heart of this glory and praise is Calvary's Cross.   Is this not enough!

     All heaven and earth unite in giving glory to the crucified and risen Lord.   Still the glory and praise now becomes more universal and takes in all creation.   "And every creature which is in heaven, and on the earth, and under the earth, and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, heard I saying, Blessing, and honour, and glory, and power, be unto him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb for ever and ever.   And the four beasts said, Amen. And the four and twenty elders fell down and worshipped him that liveth for ever and ever." (Revelation 5:13,14).

     Here we have reached the height and breadth of Calvary's Cross.   It is as wide as God's creation and as high as the highest heaven.   As was brought out in "The depth of Calvary" this whole universe hangs on the Cross for it's existence.   Yes, the depth of the Cross is to the lowest sinner on earth (Luke 7:45-50) and Luke 23:42,43).   Yea, the height of the Cross lifted the lowest sinner to the highest heaven, to reign with the Christ of Calvary, "King of King and Lord Of Lords."

     What shall we say then is the Breadth of the Cross of Calvary?   It was to the uttermost parts of the earth.   Yea, when we come to know as we are known, I am persuaded that we will find the Breadth of the Cross of Calvary reaches to the last star in this great universe.   Is it too much to say again, the universe itself with all in it, hangs on the tree of Calvary.

     Yet, back in eternity past, the Cross was ever before Him.   While in the flesh, He repeated that He must go to Calvary over and over.   Through His whole life here, He lived in the shadow of the Cross.   A little before He was arrested by the mob, He said the hour of His glory had come.   Yet, we know that there was no power in the universe sufficient to give Him to the Cross.   Yea, not even the universe itself could drag Him to that cruel tree.

   Nay, of His own voluntary will, Christ went to the Cross.   "Then said I, Lo, I come:   in the volume of the book it is written of me, I delight to do thy will, O my God:   yea, thy law is within my heart." (Psalms 40:7,8).   Yes, the delight to do His Father's will led Him to the Cross.   Therefore, it was the boundless love for lost sinners, a lost world, that made the Cross necessary.   It must be to the eternal glory of God before men and angels.   Yea, before all creation, Christ must be crucified.   Here alone is brought out the Holy and righteous heart and character and eternal love of God for sinning humanity before the universe.

     In order to confirm the eternal heights of Calvary, we must mention another scripture, "Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name:   That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth;   And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father." (Philippians 2:9-11).

"Were the whole realm of nature mine,
     That were a present far too small;
Love so amazing, so devine,
     Demands my soul, my life, my all."

"To the old rugged cross I will ever be true,
     Its shame and reproach gladly bear,
Then He'll call me someday to my home far away,
     Where His glory forever I'll share."

"So I'll cherish the old rugged cross...
     Till my trophies at last I lay down;
I will cling to the old rugged cross...
     And exchange it someday for a crown."