– by Tim Chester –
I Love this book. It’s a thoughtful and insightful devotional about the gospel that I’d recommend being read out loud. I’m always looking for new (rather than reworked) considerations. I’ll read it every year for a while. – Waldean
READER ASSESSMENT – Many Christians worldwide celebrate Lent, the 40 day period leading up to Easter which emphasizes prayer, fasting, and the importance of repentance. Though typically associated with Catholicism, many Protestants also find that a season of repentance and preparation for Easter is something of great value as well. Regardless of what you call it, you may want to set aside those forty days to give some focused meditation on Christ and His Sacrifice at the cross.
The Beauty of the Cross: Reflections for Lent from Isaiah 52 and 53 by Tim Chester is an excellent option for such a time of focus and reflection. From the introduction, Chester makes it clear that he wants readers to stand in awe of God and His great work in the death and resurrection of Jesus:
“I want our jaws to drop as we stand open-mouthed before the cross, lost for words as we see the love of Christ in all its fullness.”
Chester’s deep love for God and His Word shines bright in this wonderful 40-day devotional. He drinks deep from the wells of sound biblical teaching while bringing rich illustrations and exhortations to see Christ’s worth as we behold Him. By no means is this a technical commentary nor is it a light and fluffy feel-good devotional book. The Beauty of the Cross is meant to show us precisely what the title says: that the cross is beautiful because of the Savior who hung on it.
Zooming in on some of the richest and most explicitly Christ-centered passages in the Old Testament, the four songs in Isaiah (particularly the fourth song in 52 and 53) will open readers’ eyes to the glory of Christ and His work in making purification for sins.
Chester shows us that Christ’s work on the cross wasn’t a New Testament invention or God’s “whoops, better fix it!” moment to solve humanity’s problems. The Beauty of the Cross shows us that God’s plan A to rescue His people is glorious and gives us an opportunity to step back in awe as we set our minds and affections on the holy and triune God we serve.
Do yourself a favor and grab a copy before March 6th, so you can savor God’s Word in Isaiah 52 and 53 this Lenten season! In a world of distraction, sometimes the best moments are we simply slow down and steep ourselves in a small section of God’s Word!