Jesus, Keep Me Near the Cross

A collection of readings on the Cross and resurrection

Jesus, Keep Me Near the Cross is a collection of 25 short readings drawn from the works of classic and contemporary theologians and Bible teachers that will lead readers into thoughtful contemplation of the cross. The short meditations are drawn from a number of sources including books, other writings, and sermonic materials from: C. J. Mahaney, Adrian Rogers, Phillip Ryken, John Owen, Stephen Olford, Skip Ryan, Martin Luther, John Piper, Tim Keller, Martin Lloyd-Jones, Ligon Duncan, Jonathan Edwards, Charles Spurgeon, Saint Augustine, J. I. Packer, John Calvin, Alistair Begg, John MacArthur, Ray Ortlund, Jr., Francis Shaeffer, J.C. Ryle, James Boice, R.C. Sproul, R. Kent Hughes, and Joni Eareckson Tada.

Deeper than shallow “inspirational” thoughts, and more scripture-based and theologically sound than other “spiritual” guides available, each essay expounds on a particular aspect of the Cross and Resurrection and includes the appropriate scripture passage from the ESV.

Table of Contents
with a quote from each chapter

Martin Luther: True Contemplation of the Cross
“The whole value of the meditation of the suffering of Christ lies in this, that man should come to the knowledge of himself and sink and tremble. If you are so hardened that you do not tremble, then you have reason to tremble.”

John Piper: He Set His Face to Go to Jerusalem
“When Jesus set his face to walk the Calvary road, he was not merely taking our place; he was setting our pattern.”

Alistair Begg: An Innocent Man Crushed by God
“It wasn’t that Jesus simply stepped up and said “I’ll do this for you.” It is that Jesus became the very embodiment of all that sin is.”

C. J. Mahaney: The Cup
“What Jesus recoils from here is not an anticipation of the physical pain associated with crucifixion. Rather it’s a pain infinitely greater—the agony of being abandoned by His Father.”

R. Kent Hughes: Gethsemene
“The intensity of his agony and his sovereign resolve to bear it, his control over his captors, his protection of his own, his grace to the wounded, all proved he is an omniscient, all-powerful God.”

Ligon Duncan: Betrayed, Denied, Deserted
“Jesus was conscious that God’s plan was being worked out and nobody, not Peter, not Judas, not the mob, nor anyone else was going to keep that plan from being fulfilled.”

Charles Spurgeon: Spit in His Face
“The clearest proof that man is utterly fallen, and that the natural heart is enmity against God, is seen in the fact that they did spit in Christ's face.”

Adrian Rogers: The Silence of the Lamb
“Jesus held back any words that would have relieved Him from the shame and blame of sin. He was not a sinner, but He took fully the sinner’s place.”

J.C. Ryle: The Sufferings of Christ
“Our sins twisted the crown of thorns; our sins drove the nails into his hands and feet; on account of our sins his blood was shed. Surely the thought of Christ crucified should make us loathe all sin.”

John MacArthur: Father, Forgive Them
“The forgiveness He extended on the cross to those who put Him to death is the same forgiveness He extends to sinners today.”

John Owen: With Loud Cries and Tears
“The prayers offered with loud cries and tears are those prayed to God during his passion, both in the garden and on the cross.”

Martin Lloyd-Jones: That He Might Destroy the Works of the Devil
“The devil thought he was defeating Christ, but Christ was reconciling us to God, defeating the devil and delivering us out of his clutches.”

Skip Ryan: I Am Thirsty
“When He says, ‘I am thirsty,’ He is saying, ‘I am thirsty with a thirst that every sinner deserves to experience forever.’”

Phillip Ryken: God-Forsaken
“When Jesus was wearing our sin on the cross, God the Father could not bear to look at the sin or at his Son. He had to avert his gaze. He had to shield his eyes. He had to turn his back. He had to condemn and reject and curse and damn that sin.”

R.C. Sproul: Cursed
“When Jesus took the curse upon Himself, He so identified with our sin that He became a curse.”

James Boice: Into Your Hands I Commit My Spirit
“We can echo Jesus’ word knowing that as we pass from this life trusting Jesus’ death on our behalf, we pass into the loving hands of the Father who is waiting in heaven to receive us to himself.”

John Calvin: Blood & Water
“Forgiveness of sins and justification, as well as the sanctification of the soul, were prefigured in the law by those two symbols of sacrifices and ablutions for appeasing God’s wrath.”

J.I Packer: He Descended into Hell and Ascended into Heaven
“What makes Jesus’ entry into Hades important for us is simply the fact that now we can face death knowing that when it comes we shall not find ourselves alone. He has been there before us, and he will see us through.”

Jonathan Edwards: A Sweet-Smelling Savor to God
“God was well pleased with his Son. He was not only well pleased with our surety so far that his anger was appeased, but so that he infinitely delighted in him for his righteousness’ sake.”

Ray Ortlund, Jr.: The Most Important Word in the Universe
“The God you have offended doesn’t demand your blood; he gives his own in Christ Jesus.”

Francis Shaeffer: Resurrection Preview
“On the Mount of Transfiguration, in the resurrection, and then in three post-ascension appearances, men saw Him as we shall when we see Him.”

Saint Augustin: Peace Be Unto You
“From the sepulcher He arose, with His wounds healed, His scars kept. For this He judged expedient for His disciples, that His scars should be kept, where by the wounds of their hearts might be healed. What wounds? The wounds of unbelief.”

Tim Keller: Knowing the Power of His Resurrection
“If you believe in the resurrection as historical fact but never experience the resurrection personally, or if you think of the resurrection as a spiritual experience but don’t believe it was a fact—you come out with a form of religion with no power.”

Joni Eareckson Tada: Knowing the Fellowship of His Sufferings
“The invitation to know God—really know him—is always an invitation to suffer. Not to suffer alone, but to suffer with him.”

Stephen Olford: Crucified with Christ
“So as I live my life moment by moment and sense self rearing its ugly head, I count on the Holy Spirit to put to death the deeds of the body. This is the termination of the self-life.”