Justin’s #12 – The Glory and the Darkness, Greg Harris, 210 pages

I was given this book when I visited the Master’s Seminary in April. The man who gave it to me said that is it the best book he has ever read. And I would have to agree that it is one of the best books I have ever read.

The book’s sub title is “His cup and the glory from Gethsemane to Ascension.” This first section of the book talks about the cup and what it is. While we know that the cup represents the wrath of God, author Greg Harris describes from scripture what the wrath of God entails. Under this pretext, one more fully understands the cost that Jesus paid by absorbing the wrath of God on the cross.

Harris continues to talk about what we may not always think of during the whole ordeal of the cross: the spiritual battle. He talks about how Satan and his followers must have known Jesus was the Son of God because Satan tempted Jesus in the wilderness, and when Jesus comes upon the man with a demon in Mark 5 they recognize the “Son of Man.” Satan attempted to thwart God’s perfect plan by waging an all out spiritual war that must have raged during calvary as Harris postulates. This may sound confusing, but Harris has a knack for reasoning from one point to another in a remarkable way: the end goal seems to be far away but he systematically takes you through the scriptures to achieve a coherent picture that you really must read. To explain it all would take too much time here.

One of the most interesting passages of the book is his exposition on 1st Peter 3:18-20 and 2nd Peter 2:4-5:

For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive in the spirit, 19 in which he went and proclaimed to the spirits in prison, 20 because they formerly did not obey,when God’s patience waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was being prepared, in which a few, that is, eight persons, were brought safely through water.

For if God did not spare angels when they sinned, but cast them into hell and committed them to chains of gloomy darkness to be kept until the judgment; if he did not spare the ancient world, but preserved Noah, a herald of righteousness, with seven others, when he brought a flood upon the world of the ungodly.

The epistles of Peter, Harris explains, were written to be an encouragement to the persecuted and suffering saints of God. Harris asks why the ministry of Jesus to these imprisoned demons is applicable to the persecuted. The answer is quite interesting and I believe constitutes a large portion of the book. Again, Harris takes you back to Genesis and onward to explain this and it is so masterfully done. I won’t bore you (or intrigue you!) with the details; you will just have to pick up a copy for yourself!

This really is one of the best books I’ve read and it is not too long either. If you wish to understand calvary more clearly, I would highly recommend this book.

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