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Free Books » Bonar, Horatius » Light & Truth: The Gospels

Chapter 72 - John 12:32 - The Great Attraction Light & Truth: The Gospels by Bonar, Horatius




The Great Attraction.


"And I, be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me."

-John 12:32.



     This is Christ's own testimony to the power of his death and resurrection. Both of these are included. The Christ of God is lifted up to the cross, and there is power in that; the Christ of God is lifted out of the grave (?χ τ?ς γ?ς)and there is power in that.

     Mark the kind of power. It is not destructive, or repulsive, or punitive; it is attractive. It draws. It is not compulsive or harsh, but simply attractive. The sun draws up the vapors from the sea, and then hangs a brilliant rainbow on them; so Christ draws up the sons of men from the depths of our low world, and glorifies them. His attraction is like that of the sun. His attraction is magnetic, too; it is the attraction of the magnet to the pole. As the far-distant north pole, by an unseen influence, lays hold on the motionless iron and turns it to itself, so does the far-off Golgotha, our truer, better pole, draw the sons of men, and cluster them round itself. Have you felt the magnetic virtue of the cross and grave of Christ? Have they acted upon you?

     It is not simply the Christ that is the magnet; it is the crucified Christ. It is crucifixion that has imparted to Him his attractive power; just as it is death that has given Him his life-giving power. It is not Christ without the cross; nor is it the cross without Christ; it is both of them together.

     But mark the greatness of the power. It is sufficient to draw all men. It has not drawn all men. There are millions in hell who shall never be drawn. There are millions upon earth who are not yet drawn. Yet there is virtue in the crucified one to draw every one. It is almighty influence; irresistible power; power which no human heart could have resisted, had it so pleased the Father to put it forth. A power that could draw the myriads of stars and planets, and cluster them round itself, must be great; but a power that can draw millions of human hearts must be greater far.

     But wherein consists its magnetic power? Apart from its being the center from which omnipotence goes forth; the place in which, and the way by which, righteous power is savingly put forth for the arrestment of the sinner, it contains everything that the sinner needs. It is suitable,-

     I. Because of the love which it embodies. Herein is love! The love that passeth knowledge! The love of God in Jesus Christ our Lord. Christ crucified, dead, buried, risen, is the great revelation of the grace of God. What so magnetic as love?

     II. Because of the righteousness which it exhibits. This "great sight" is one of infinite righteousness. It is the cross of righteousness; the resurrection of righteousness. It is for the unrighteous, and yet it is righteous. It is righteousness combining with love and taking the sinner's side against law and judgment and the eternal penalty. How attractive is righteousness like this!

     III. Because of the truth which it proclaims. All God's revealed truth is connected with the cross. Divine wisdom is concentrated there. In Jesus, the crucified, there is the wisdom of God, and He is made unto us wisdom. In the cross we have the refutation of man's errors and Satan's lies; the great embodiment of heavenly and everlasting truth. Here all truth and all wisdom are centered! How can it but be magnetic!

     IV. Because of the reconciliation which it publishes. It proposes peace to the sinner; for it has made peace. Jesus has made peace by the blood of his cross. Peace to him that is afar off and to him that is nigh! Here is the meeting-place between man and God. Here we stand and say, "Be reconciled."

     V. Because of the healing which it brings. There is healing in its shadow. He who touches is healed,-healed in every part. The healing begins now in the soul; it is completed hereafter in the resurrection of the body. Jesus, the dead and risen One is our healer! In this healing we include not simple relief from pain, or weariness, or spiritual infirmity, but deliverance from sin. The cross purifies. The fullness of the crucified One is the fountain of our holiness.

     Thus the cross,-the gospel,-the crucified One,-all these make up the "power of God"; the power which attracts, quickens, saves, purifies! It draws,-draws irresistibly; for in it is the strength of omnipotence.