The Triumph of Calvary
THIS passage is one of the sublimest in the Bible. Not more majestic and overwhelming is the voice of God issuing from the burning bush. It represents "the Captain of our salvation," left alone in the heat of battle, marching victoriously through the broken columns of the foe, bursting the bars asunder, bearing away the brazen gates, and delivering by conquest the captives of sin and death. Let us first determine the events to which our text relates, and then briefly explain the questions and answers which it contains.
I. We have here a wonderful victory, obtained by Christ, in the city of Bozrah, in the land of Edom. Our first inquiry concerns the time and the place of that achievement.
Some of the prophecies are literal, and others are figurative. Some of them are already fulfilled, and others are in daily process of fulfilment. Respecting this prophecy, divines disagree. Some think it is a description of Christ's conflict and victory, without the gates of Jerusalem, eighteen centuries ago; and others understand it as referring to the great battle of Armageddon, predicted in the Apocalypse, and yet to be consummated before the end of the world.
I am not willing to pass by mount Calvary, and Joseph's new tomb, on my way to the field of Armageddon; nor am I willing to pause at the scene of the crucifixion and the ascension, without going farther on to the final conquest of the foe. I believe Divine inspiration has included both events in the text; the victory already won on Calvary, and the victory yet to be accomplished in Armageddon; the finished victory of Messiah's passion, and the progressive victory of his gospel and his grace.
The chief difficulty, in understanding some parts of the word of God, arises from untranslated words; many of which are found in our own version, as well as in that of our English neighbors. For instance - in Matthew 2:23, it is said, "He came and dwelt in a cit ...
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