Review: The Agony And Glory Of The Cross

The Agony and Glory of the Cross by Charles B. Hodge Jr.

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Then He said to them all, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me. For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will save it. For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and is himself destroyed or lost?” Luke 9:23-25

I started reading it last year, but I took it slow so that I wouldn’t miss much, and it was worth it. Here are a few of my favorite quotes from it:

“Jesus was not on the cross six hours, but thirty-three years. He lived the life before He died the death. Salvation is free, but it costs us everything – our lives!”

“The way up is down; we empty ourselves to be full. We confess being wrong to be made right. The strongest are the weakest; the poorest, the richest. We die to live and give to get.”

“Jesus was both totally humbled and totally exalted. His exaltation did not destroy His humanity; rather, it glorified His humanity. ”

“Our salvation is not for a moment but for a crucified lifetime.”

“The U.S. has the Declaration of Independence; Christians have the Declaration of Dependence.”

The author includes a special section especially for meditating on before each chapter. Very thought provoking stuff! (Though it looks like one of the later printings took out the meditations, which is a shame – so if you look into getting this book, try to make sure it’s the older printing with the “More Confusing Than Amusing” meditations before each chapter – it’s the one without the “Give The Gift of God’s Love” on the cover.) I enjoyed this book so much. This is the perfect book to read during this Holy week; or anytime before or after! 🙂

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Mistaken Humility

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“Ironically, those with this mindset are often fixated on self, thinking about self all the time and how awful self is… but still very much giving all their energy to self.”

That was a response that one of my best friends had the Depression and Denying Self post I made last month. Quote from that:

Denying self. What does this mean? For years, I thought it meant denying self-worth. Statements like, “You don’t deserve (finish this sentence with any good thing, want, or idea)”, “You’re a worthless sinner”, “You’re not good enough” went through my head, and I let them have free reign. (And then those thoughts took the reigns, cut them, and let the worst run free inside me, and it nearly destroyed me. But that’s another post for another day.)

I guess today is that “another day” I mentioned.

I didn’t understand what humility was. I thought that it was “feeling humiliated”. So when my thoughts aimed to beat me up inside, I let them, saying, “This is humility. Jesus wants this.”

Wrong.

Oh, how mistaken I was; the truth was blurred into obscurity for quite a while.

Humility implies the state or quality of being humble; the absence of pride or self-assertion, while being humiliated implies feelings of embarrassment, making a fool of, dishonored, and shamed.
Even though it was self-loathing, it was still a focus on self that I shouldn’t have had. What a sneaky way for pride to attack; under the guise of mistaken humility!

 

Humility:

Mt:11:25: At that time Jesus answered and said, “I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because Thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes.”

Lk:23:34: Then said Jesus, “Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do. And they parted His raiment, and cast lots.”

Lk:23:46: And when Jesus had cried with a loud voice, He said, “Father, into Thy hands I commend My spirit:” and having said thus, He gave up the ghost.

Jesus always gave glory to the Father. He was the prime example of humility.

 

Humiliation:

If being ridiculed, spit on, beaten up, forced to wear a crown of thorns, and hung naked upon a cross doesn’t give the impression of humiliation, I don’t know what will.

 

He went through the ultimate humiliation, but nowhere have I seen where He humiliated Himself. He knew Who He was and what He was placed here to do.

Likewise, I should know what I am here for and what I am here to do. Bring God glory. Spread the Gospel. Love Him.

(Special thanks to Pete for his Pride series; that was really helpful when writing this. 😊)