To call the arrest, trial, scourging and crucifixion of Jesus Christ a miscarriage of justice is true as far as it goes, but it does not go far enough. Christ’s death on the cross was not an accident but, as his resurrection attests, was accomplished according to the sovereign, loving will of God, by which sinners can be reconciled to the One who made them, and can pass by grace from death to life. In this memorable set of sermons which date from 1557 to 1558, Calvin, chief pastor of the Genevan church, offers a sensitive reading of Matthew’s account of Christ’s passion, death and resurrection. The preacher’s focus, however, is not so much on the events themselves as on their significance, on what he calls the fruit and efficacy of Christ’s redemptive work. What, in practical terms, is the import of the Easter message for the life of faith? Calvin’s answer has vital implications not only for what we believe but for the way we live, serve, worship and pray. Newly translated from the French of 1558 by Robert White.
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