Our Lenten Journey with St Francis de Sales – 7April – Good Friday – The Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ according to St John 18:1-40.19:1-42 – Scripture search here: https://www.drbo.org/
“Jesus Nazarenus, Rex Judeaorum –
Jesus the Nazarene, the King of the Jews.”
No Other Redemption
St Francis de Sales (1567-1622)
“HERE, THEN, ARE THE CAUSES of the death of Jesus Chris – the first is that He was Saviour, Holy and King; the second, that He wished to redeem those who acknowledge Him, which is what the word “Jews” means which Pilate had written on the standard of the Cross.
When God withdrew His people from slavery in Egypt to lead them to the Promised Land under the command of that great captain, Moses, a strange misfortune occurred. Small serpents came out from the earth and overran the desert where the poor Israelites were. Their bite, though apparently not very painful, was certainly very dangerous. It was so venomous that all those bitten would surely have died if, in His goodness and infinite Providence, God had not provided a remedy.
Moved by the sight of this pitiable misfortune, Moses spoke to God and asked for some remedy against it. The Lord commanded him to make a brass serpent and to place it on a tall pole, promising, that those bitten by the small serpents would be cured, by gazing upon it. Moses promptly did this, enjoining those bitten to cast their eyes on the brass serpent mounted on the pole.
Those who did so were immediately cured.
Those unwilling to gaze upon it died, for there was no other means of escaping death than that which was ordained by God Himself.
“Oh! How good was the God of Israel” [Ps. 72 (73):1], said a great Saint, “to provide Moses with such a remedy for his people’s cure!” – (Sermon for Good Friday, 25 March 1622).
“HE DIED, THEN.
But although He died for us and was lifted up on the Cross, those who refuse to look upon Him, will surely die, for there is no other redemption but in this Cross.
O God, how spiritually beneficial and profitable is a consideration of Thy Cross and Passion!
Can we contemplate our Saviour’s humility on the Cross without becoming humble and having some affection for humiliations?
Can we see His obedience without being obedient?
Certainly not! No-one has ever looked upon Our Lord Crucified and remained dead or sick.
On the other hand, all who have died have done so because they were unwilling to gaze upon Him, just as the Israelites died who were unwilling to gaze upon the serpent which Moses had raised upon the pole.” – ( Sermons of St Francis de Sales for Lent).