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upon earth the heavenly kingdom over attention on the truths declared to them. Is which He rules.
there now before our eyes no such symp2. This grand and glorious achieve- tom of the approaching reign of Christ? ment He effected by means that came 3. Impressed with holy awe, they shall not within the expectation of the assume the attitude of abasement and Jewish people, although they were submission. The expression, “the kings clearly predicted. It was by death that shall shut their mouths at Him," implies He conquered death. It was by a per- the submission of whole nations, hero fect obedience in action and suffering represented by kings; for, as the rethat He became the second Adam- ception of Christianity on the part of the spiritual Head of a new and hap- the rulers of a country requires the pier race (Rom. iv. 25). He planted overthrow of every system of religious His religion on the earth, opposed by polity previously established, such a. hostile scorn, relentless malice, and reception, publicly made, implies, more despotic power. In a few years the or less, the submission of the mass of banner of the Cross waved upon the people. Enlightened by the Divine conquered fortresses of Paganism, and Spirit, they shall recognise His righteenlisted under its folds the great and ous claims, receive His law, trust to mighty of the earth. Yet no earthly His grace, and bow to His sway. weapon had been raised in its defence 4. He shall forgive their iniquities and nor in its assaults. The cause of Christ sanctify their hearts. “He shall sprinkle had achieved its victories by its own many nations ”—that is, in allusion to inherent power. It was resistless by the aspersions under the law, by which its truth, and by the silent operations the people were sanctified, He shall of the Spirit of truth. Its adherents apply to the souls of regenerated mulwere indeed strong, but it was in faith, titudes the blood of His great atonepurity, and charity. Thus the Servant ment, and the sacred influences of His of God prospered, was extolled, and Holy Spirit. Then the conquests of became very high.
the Redeemer shall be visible and 3. But His reign on the earth is splendid (Ps. lxxii. 17).-G. T. Noel, yet very limited, and His conquests M.A., in Sketches of Sermons on Christian incomplete. “There remaineth yet Missions, pp. 114–119. much land to be possessed." Threefourths of the human race are still the prey of idolatry or of imposture; and Of whom does the prophet speak ? the ancient people of God are still Not of the nation, but of an individual. outcasts from His favour, and the That individual is not himself. No victims of unbelief.
one corresponds, in the circumstances III. WHAT WE MAY GATHER FROM detailed, but the Christ. “Behold, my THIS PROPHETIC ACCOUNT RESPECTING servant shall deal prudently,” &c. THE PROCESS BY WHICH THE KINGDOM I. DESCRIBES His HUMILIATION. OF THE MESSIAH SHALL BE FULLY “My servant.” He was appointed to AND FINALLY ESTABLISHED. “ As a work. He assumed the human body, many . . shall they consider” (1 Cor. subjecting Himself to the conditions 14, 15). These declarations are full of a lowly human life, that He might of information as to the process by be under law. He was voluntarily a which Christianity shall advance to servant under a master. He became her sacred and ultimate dominion. sulject to the Father's will, although We are led to infer
that will involved His suffering unto 1. That there shall be a wide dispersion death.
death. He was fully acquainted with of Divine knowledge over heathen and the solemn necessity for His suffering, Mohammedan nations ; for men cannot in order to the accoinplishment of the cee or consider that which is not pre- end, on which His heart was set as sented to their notice.
much as the Father's heart. Hence 2. The nations shall fix their anxious the sweep of His humiliation was all the way from the bosom of the Father 4. In the functions He discharges. -the glory which He had with the They arise out of the redemptive work Father- in heaven, to the lowliest which lle accomplished on the Cross. conditions of an earthly life.
They consist in (1.) The restoration of II. COMMENDS HIS CONDUCT. “Shall His Church. To this end He endowed deal prudently."
His conduct was His apostles with power to work uniformly consistent with the end He miracles in His name. He commishad in view. He pursued that end sioned them, and still commissions steadily from the beginning of llis His ministers to preach the Gospel to course, both when He eluded the viyi- every creature. He bestows spiritual lant hostility of His enemies, and when blessings on sinful men (Acts v. 31; He allowed Himself to fall into their John xvii. 2; Heb. vii. 25; John xiv. hands.
He conducted Himself with 2). (2.) In the certain subjugation of perfect wisdom, so that everything is enemies (Ps. cx. 1). The gradual happened in the way and at the time extension and final triumph of His He intended.
empire (H. E. I. 979). (3.) In the III. PREDICTS His EXALTATION. judgment of the world. All judgment “He shall be exalted, and extolled, is committed to Him. In Matt. xxv. and be very high” (ch. liii. 11, 12). there is a representation of the proThe exaltation follows the humiliation, ceedings of the great day of judgment, and is its consequence (Phil. ii. 6-10). which represents the Lord Jesus Christ Note how varied are the elements of as the most august and illustrious perHis exaltation, and how we have in sonage in the universe. them a complete and glorious fulfilment 5. In the honour He receives. From of this prediction. We see it fulfilled. the Church on earth. The Church Let us observe how it has followed His honours the Son even as it honours humiliation. Note these facts
the Father. It renders to Him similar 1. In His resurrection from the dead. trust, love, and obedience. From the On the third day from His crucifixion saints in heaven (Rev. v. 9, 10). From He rose from the grave (1 Cor. xv. the angelic ranks (Rev. v. 12). From 4–8). Its moral grandeur as evidence the whole universe (Rev. v. 13, 14). of His truth, and of the Father's ac- Christian brethren, see that you ceptance of the work He had just per- exalt your glorified Saviour. Be not formed in His death, is enhanced by ashamed of your connection with Him. the circumstance that He had predicted Let it be your boast, as it is unquesHis resurrection on that day. This tionably the cause of your real dignity. fact was made prominent in the apos- Glorify and extol Hiin by your praises, tolic ministry, especially at first; it and by the holiness of your lives. was the main argument for the truth And expect the final glorification with of Christ.
Him. For, like your Saviour, your 2. In His ascension to heaven. This days of conflict, toil, and suffering was also witnessed by the apostolic will be followed by the exaltation to company. And references to it in their heaven.-J. Rawlinson. germons and epistles show how much importance they attached to it in relation to His personal distinction, and I. THE UNPARALLELED HUMILILIAalso in relation to His continued work TION OF CHRIST. and influence on His Church and on 1. The state of humiliation begins the world.
with the stupendous fact of His 3. In the pre-eminence assigned to incarnation (Phil. ii. 6-8; 2 Cor. Ilim. He is at the right hand of God, viii. 9, &c.) While we believe and which is the place of honour and pro- teach the supreme divinity of Christ, minence at the celestial court (Col. i. we also exult in the wondrous fact 18; 1 Pet. iii. 22; Eph. i. 20-23). that He became man. Two natures All things are put under His feet. mysteriously united. Revelation af firms the fact, but not the mode. John xix. 16-18 ; Phil. ii. 7, 8; Gal. “Great is the mystery of godliness.” iii. 13). While we treat of the depth A stoop of illimitable graciousness ! of this suffering, let us meditate upon His assumption of humanity was real the dignity of the person undergoing and complete. It was “no God in such ayony. What immeasurable love disguise" - no mock assumption of and compassion! humanity, the whole nature was taken 4. He was humbled in His burial on (H. E. I. 849-854).
(John xix. 38. 42, &c.) The body of 2. His humiliation is seen in His the Son of God lay lifeless in the grave humble and lowly life, in fixed obedience until the morning of the third day ! to the law. He was not born of “loins Note carefully and remember well enthroned, or rulers of the earth," but that the humiliation of Christ was of a poor virgin, &c. (Isa. vii. 14; perfectly voluntary (Phil. ii. 6–8, &c.) Matt. i. 18–23 ; Luke i. 26–35; Matt.
The will of the Father did not coerce xiii. 55, 56; Mark vi, 3, 4). He was the Son (John x. 11, 17, 18). With born in a stable at a common inn, &c. the entire concurrence of His will He (Luke ii. 1-7, xii. 16). He wrought thoughtfully and deliberately yielded at the same employment with His Himself up to death, with all its attenreputed father (Matt. xii. 55). The dant circumstances of shame and sufLord of the world was subject to man! fering, that He might accomplish the The Author of the law became its Father's will, and effect the redempservant- submitted Himself to the tion of mankind. He was a willing rite of circumcision, and all the victim (H. E. I. 918). This was essenrighteousness of the law, and accom- tial. There can be no merit in exacted plished it by a perfect obedience in suffering. Herein we behold the wondeed and suffering. He was always derful love of Jesus. In this volunpoor (Matt. viii. 20, xvii. 24-27; tariness we are called to imitate our Jno. xix. 25–27). He toiled, hungered, great pattern. How willingly we thirsted, and was weary ; tempted of should give ourselves to Him who so the devil and despised by man. Again willingly gave all He could give for and again He was declared to be a us! deceiver and in league with hell (Matt. II. His UNPARALLELED EXALTAiv. 1-11; John vii. 12, &c.) That He TION. A happy transition. “He shall might be the comforter of the poor be exalted and extolled, and be very and wretched, He shunned not the high.” Concerning the fulfilment of poverty and wretchedness of men, &c. this prediction, see preceding outline.
3. In His sufferings and death. His CONCLUSION.–From the wide field whole life was one of suffering (ver. of instruction furnished by this sub14). His general appearance was so ject, two or three reflections deserve disfigured by excessive grief and dis particular considerationtress, as scarcely to retain the appear- 1. We have the Divine attributes exhiance of a man (see Barnes, in loco). In bited in a manner and to a degree they every struggle and conflict of which would never otherwise have been. man is capable, the Captain of our 2. We see the way in which His folsalvation shared a part. His humilia- lowers may expect to go to heaven. Like tion was deeper still: “He humbled their Master, they inust be humbled Himself unto death, even the death of before they are exalted (Luke xviii. 14; the cross."
agony in the garden Jas, iv. 10; 2 Tim. ii. 11, 12). What(Luke xxiii. 41-44); the betrayal (Matt. ever we may have to pass through, xxvi. 14-16, xxvii. 3, 4); the treachery let us remember that Jesus has gone of His disciples, &c. The weight of before, &c. He prays that His people a world's sin; the dread hiding of may be with Him (John xvii. 24), and His Father's countenance; the shame- in due time they who have suffered ful, painful, and cursed death of the with Him shall also reign with Him. cross (Matt. xxvii. 46; Isa. liii. 10; 3. The manner in which these stupen. VOL. II.
dous facts must affect the finally impeni- of an offered Saviour—the one great, tent. What are they to you? Only damning sin into which all other sins wonderful events? Is there no intel- are merged (John iii. 19). Again, ligent personal interest in them? Your this once humbled but now exalted condemnation will not proceed on the and glorified Saviour is offered for your evidence that you have profaned God's acceptance (Ps. ii. 12).—Alfred l'ucker. holy name, &c., but on the rejection
THE FACE OF JESUS.
lii. 14. As many were astonished at Thee; His visage was so marred, &c. The personal coming of the Son of 2. Though in these respects a face God was a great theme of prophecy. like ours, yet how different! It is a Changes of dynasties, national and visage marred; but not by evil life, local calamities, the raising up of evil disposition, infirmity, sickness, or heroes, the overthrow of sovereigns age. In the Saviour's face there are, and of empires were predicted by the (1.) Lines which tell of severe hardship. ministers of Jehovah; but the over- He was made acquainted with hunger, throw of the dominion of sin, by that thirst, and fatigue. He lived for others' man Jesus Christ, is the sublimest in- welfare, comfort, and happiness, fortelligence uttered by prophetic lips. getting His own. (2.) Indications of The personal character of Christ is heavy sorrow (ch. liii. 3, 4). A world's sketched in prophecy. He is to be ingratitude pressed upon His spirit. different from ordinary men—their A world's sin grieved Him. (3.) superior. He is to be open of heart, Traces of anxious care. He had come gentle of hand, sober of mind, consis- as the representative of His Father to tent in conduct. The personal circum- He had undertaken to represent stances of Christ are mentioned. He the case of man before His Father. is to come of royal stock, yet im- What responsibility! (4.) Marks of poverished. Obscurity and lowliness much suffering. Allusion is made in are to be His portion in His domestic the text not only to mental, but life, rejection and contempt in His to physical suffering. Gethsemane's public career. Yet are men to hear agony; the cruel usage in Herod's hall, eagerly His words, and He is to be where “He gave His back to the crowned with ultimate glory. The
The smiters, and His cheeks to them that countenance of the Saviour, His per- plucked off the hair ;" His sufferings sonal appearance, is also referred to. under Pilate ; the tortures of the cruci. These slight sketches were literally fixion, remove all room for wonder at fulfilled. How different is the face the statement of the text. There are of the infant from that of the dying actual scars upon His sacred Person; man! During the tortuous course of “ the print of the nails ;” of the thornlife, the chisel of the energetic sculp- crown; the spear-wound. tor, Time, has been busy cutting deep II. We may reverently muse upon furrows; the pencils of the twin pain- what is here revealed. The face is ters, Sorrow and Care, have left the but the outer mask; the soul is hidden expression wan and worn.
within. The face is an index which I. The text is a photograph of the reveals and expresses the feelings and face of Jesus in the hour of His experiences of the soul. death. Let us meditate upon it. “Love 1. We learn from the face of Jesus and grief the heart dividing.”
the reality of His life. It is seen to 1. The face and form are those of a have been intensely real. The visit to man. There is here flesh and blood; earth was no illusive appearance of the parts and features capable of express- Son of God. To Him sin, human guilt, ing feeling.
and Divine wrath were real and fearful
matters. The features of the grim and having ultimately and perfectly soldier on the battle-field tell forth triumphed, proves to us the fact and unmistakably his earnestness and the glory of His Divinity. anxiety; for with him it is a matter III. Let us make application of this of glory or shame, of victory or death. subject to ourselves. We look at
2. We see the reality of His sympathy. Christ to learn of Him. 1. Is there Life is to us a reality. It is a burden, not here matter for wonder? an effort, a struggle. He understands
many were astonished at Thee.” They He has undergone all. Bo- said: “It is impossible, incredible, hold His face! Think upon His racked that this humble, patient sufferer can nerves, weary limbs, aching head, be the Christ” (ch. liii. 1). We wounded spirit, broken heart! (Heb. wonder, not to doubt, but to adore. iv. 15.)
2. Here is reason for admiration and 3. We understand the reality of His love. What has the Lord endured for work. God might have left us to our our eternal salvation ? 3. We must
but where would then have been remember to expect an experience very the glory of His grace ?
similar to that of our Lord. 4. We have forgiven us and saved us with a have here an example worthy of imitaword; but where then would have been tion. How patiently He endures all! the purity of His holiness, justice, and (Heb. xii. 1, 2.) 5. Does not this truth? “It behoved Christ to suffer." revelation of the nature, character,
4. We have now evidence of the and work of Christ afford us ground reality of His love (John iii. 16, xv. 13; for trust? Saints may be assured of Eph. iii. 19; 1 John iii. 16).
His sympathy. Sinners may see in (5.) We cannot now doubt the reality His substitutionary suffering their salof His Divinity. The weakness of His vation.—Robert S. Latimer : Study and humanity having endured the long . Homiletic Monthly, New Series, vol. iii. trial of anxiety, pain, and sorrow,
OUR MARVELLOUS REDEEMER. lii. 14, 15. As many were astonished at Thee; His visage, fa This prophecy runs through chapter He was largely discussed by the people lii. It sets forth the exaltation of the of His country and time; in some cases Messiah, which was to be preceded by favourably, in other cases very unHis humiliation. There would be sur- favourably. In the end they rejected prise and disappointment in some cases, His claims. while there would be surprise and He soon after attracted very wide admiration in others.
attention outside Judaism. For it was I. View the Saviour as attracting part of His plan and purpose that after universal attention. “ That which His earthly life and work were comhad not been told them shall they see ; pleted, He should be proclaimed more and that which they had not heard extensively than among
His own shall they consider.”
countrymen. His apostles preached Some men cannot fail to attract Him freely among the heathen. Not attention whether they court it or not. without effect. Communities sprang There is something in their appearance, up in every direction in Asia and in or manner, or intelligence, or power of Europe, called by His name, and held expression, or sympathy, on account together by their common belief of the of which, wherever they are, they be- things concerning Him. One apostle come the object of general interest. quotes this part of our text in illustraJesus was one of these when here. tion of his own action in spreading the Sometimes He tried to escape from knowledge of Christ among the heathen the crowd. But He could not be hid. (Rom. xv. 20, 21).