by John Calvin (compiled by John H. Kromminga)
Now is my soul troubled; and what shall I say? Father, save me from this hour: but for this cause came I unto this hour. —John 12:27
"Father, save me from this hour." It may be thought that it is unbecoming in the Son of God to utter rashly a wish which he must immediately retract, in order to obey his Father. I readily admit that this is the folly of the cross, which gives offence to proud men; but the more the Lord of Glory humbled himself, so much the more illustrious is the manifestation of his vast love to us.
Besides, we ought to recollect what I have already stated, that the human feelings of Christ were in him pure and free from sin. The reason is that they were guided and regulated in obedience to God; for there is nothing to prevent Christ from having a natural dread of death, and yet desiring to obey God.
This holds true in various respects; and hence he corrects himself by saying, "For this cause came I unto this hour." For though he may lawfully entertain a dread of death, yet, considering why he was sent, and what his office as Redeemer demands of him, he presents to his Father the dread which arose out of his natural disposition, in order that it may be subdued, or rather, having subdued it, he prepares freely and willingly to execute the command of God.
Now, if the feelings of Christ, which were free from all sin, needed to be restrained in this manner, how earnestly ought we to apply to this object, since the numerous affections which spring from the flesh are so many enemies of God in us. Let the godly, therefore, persevere in doing violence to themselves, until they have denied themselves. —Commentaries
John Calvin was the premier theologian of the Reformation, but also a pious and godly Christian pastor who endeavored throughout his life to point men and women to Christ. We are grateful to Reformation Heritage Books for permission to use John Calvin's Thine Is My Heart as our daily devotional for 2013 on the OPC Web site. You can currently obtain a printed copy of that book from Reformation Heritage Books.
Dr. Joel Beeke, who is editorial director of Reformation Heritage Books, has this to say:
"Calvin shows us the piety of a Reformed theologian who speaks from the heart. Having tasted the goodness and grace of God in Jesus Christ, he pursued piety by seeking to know and do God’s will every day. He communed with Christ, practicing repentance, self-denial, and cross-bearing. Moreover, his theology worked itself out in heart-felt, Christ-honoring piety. The selections of this devotional bear this out, and hopefully will be used by God to direct pious hearts in our own day."
These devotional readings from John Calvin were compiled by John H. Kromminga. Be sure to read his "Introduction" to John Calvin's Thine Is My Heart.