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"All of One"
INTENDED FOR READING ON LORD'S DAY, JUNE 23, 1895.
DELIVERED BY C. H. SPURGEON,
AT THE METROPOLITAN TABERNACLE, NEWINGTON, ON LORD'S-DAY EVENING, JUNE 5, 1887.
"For both He that sanctifies and they who are sanctified are all of one: for which cause He is not ashamed to call them brethren, saying, I will declare Your name unto My brethren, in the midst of the Church will I sing praise unto You. And again, I will put My trust in Him. And again, Behold I and the children whom God has given Me." Hebrews 2:11-13.
AT the commencement of our discourse, it will be most fit and proper for us to enquire whether we have any interest in the Truths of God mentioned in the text. The Apostle here speaks of those who are sanctified and of the great Sancti-fier. Come, my Hearer, do you belong to the sanctified? Have you any part or lot in this matter? What does it concern you that the Sanctifier and the sanctified are, "all of one," if you are not one of them? The more glorious the privileges of the Gospel, the more doleful is your state if they are not yours! If you have no share in this wondrous union between Christ and His people, what we have to say will affect you but little. Indeed, it will not even interest you—and why should it?
What is meant by the expression, "being sanctified"? The essential part of sanctification means being set apart for holy uses. That which was meant to be used for God, alone, was sanctified, set apart, regarded as holy. The vessels of the sanctuary were sanctified when they were used only by the priests in the service of God. Of course there arose out of this fact, which is the essence of sanctification, the further quality of purity, for that which is dedicated to God must be pure, that which is reserved for His service must not be defiled, it must be clean. We cannot imagine the Holy God using unholy vessels in His sanctuary—so that sanctification comes to mean purification—the making of that to be holy which was, first of all, set apart for holy uses. Holiness of character follows upon holiness of design. First we are set apart for God's use and then, afterwards, we are made pure that we may be fit for God's use.
Well, then, dear Friends, are you sanctified? I have heard some make a jest of that word and jeer at certain persons as, "saints." They might as well call them kings and princes, and then mock them, for there is nothing mean or despicable in the name, "saint." It is one of the most glorious titles that a man can ever wear! "He was a sanctified sort of person," says one, meaning, thereby, I suppose, sanctimonious, hypocritical and pretentious. Yes, but that is not the true meaning of the word and I fear lest the jest at the word, "sanctified," only proves that there are many who, so far from claiming to be sanctified, do not even wish to be! It is the last thing that they would desire, to be made holy, and set apart for Divine purposes.
But, Beloved, all those who believe in the Lord Jesus Christ aspire to be dedicated and consecrated to God! "You are not your own, for you are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's." You hear a voice which says to you, "Come out from among them, and be you separate, says the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, and will be a Father unto you, and you shall be My sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty." You understand that the Lord's children are expected to be a peculiar people, zealous for good works—
Only reserved for Christ that died, Surrendered to the Crucified."
Are you, then, a member of that blessed society? Do you desire to live to God? Are you anxious to be so pure in character that God can accept your service and use you for His work? Well, then, it is for you that the words of our text are written. May you drink the encouragement out of them and be, thereby, refreshed!
No man is truly sanctified unless he is sanctified by Christ. The Holy Spirit is made the Agent of our purification, but it is in Christ that we are, first of all, set apart unto God, and it is by His most precious blood, applied to us by the Spirit of God, that we are made clean and pure so as to be used in the Divine service. Believers are the sanctified and Jesus Christ is the Sanctifier. I am not going to say more about that glorious Truth at this time, but I am going to dwell upon the very important statement made here, "He that sanctifies and they who are sanctified are all of one." This is a truly wonderful expression—they are "all of one." Note, therefore, first, the remarkable unity of Christ and His people. And then notice the Lord Jesus Christ's expressions which prove this wonderful unity.
I. First, then, consider THE REMARKABLE UNITY BETWEEN CHRIST AND HIS PEOPLE. They are "all of one."
They are, first, "all of one" in the Divine design in the great mind of God. It is not Christ, alone. and His people. alone, but Christ and His Church who are regarded as "all of one." They are fitted, constituted, designed for each other. They are the complement of each other. In the Divine mind it was not the Christ, the Anointed, as the Head apart from the whole body adown which the holy anointing oil should flow—it was the Head with all the members of His mystical body that the great Father saw. When the Divine Mind—and we have to speak here after the manner of men, for God is not known to us so that we can speak of Him otherwise than after the fashion of our poor ideas—when the Divine Mind conceived the plan of man's redemption, purification and setting apart for His service, God had this one thought. We make it two, but it was only one to Him—Christ, the First-Born, and the many brethren as succeeding Him in their heavenly birth—being brothers unto him and being made like He. The Eternal Father thought not of Christ without the Church, nor of the Church without Christ!
When we speak of Christ, now, we are not speaking of Him only as the second Person of the blessed Trinity, "very God of very God," but we are thinking of Him in His complex Character as being both God and Man, the one Mediator between God and men. Now, the very idea of a Mediator implies that there shall be men for whom He shall mediate with God. The very thought of a Savior implies that there shall be persons whom He shall save. And the idea of men needing to be saved, also, somehow implies Christ, who alone could save them. To the Divine Mind it was so. God made man in His own image, after His likeness, and His thoughts were even, then, fixed upon the Christ. And when He new-makes men, it is with the intention that they shall again be conformed unto His image. "Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it does not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that when He shall appear, we shall be like He; for we shall see Him as He is." In the mind of God it was settled that there should be a race of beings who should serve Him, of whom His own Son should be one—very God, but yet, at the same time, truly Man—and He did not think of His Son in that complex relationship otherwise than as being the Head of a vast community—the perfect Image to which multitudes of others should be conformed!
I cannot fully bring out the thought that I see in the text, for here we are in the great deeps. But the more you shall turn this Truth over, the more you will discover that from of old God ordained Christ and His people as parts of one wondrous plan. It was not, as some have tried to represent it, that Jehovah made a mistake by creating men who fell into sin and that He then adopted an expedient by which He restored them. No, the whole scheme of redemption is all part of the great eternal system and plan matured in the Divine Mind that by redeeming love, manifested in the Person of His well-beloved Son, the Lord might create unto Himself a people who should forever be one, akin unto Himself, and like unto the Well-Beloved. It was to find fit comrades for that mysterious Person whom He of old ordained—and it was to find for those comrades a fit Leader and Head—that He constituted Christ the Man, and yet God, to be the Mediator between God and men. They are one, they are, as our text says, "all of one," in the Divine Design. And the Divine Design cannot be accomplished without the glorification of Christ, nor yet without the glorification of His people! They are one in the Divine Purpose and if either the one or the other could fail, the purpose of God would break down—but that cannot be!
Then, next, they who are sanctified and the Sanctifier, Himself, are "all of one" in the Eternal Covenant. When the Lord Jesus Christ became the Surety of the Covenant, the Head and Representative of His people, He struck hands with His great Father in a solemn league and Covenant and He did that, not for Himself, alone, but for us, also. That Covenant was made for us in Christ with Christ, as He is one with us, and now, today, Beloved, the provisions of the Covenant are as much for me as for Christ, and as much for Christ as for the very least of His people! They are regarded in the wondrous Covenant as being indissolubly one. That first Covenant with Adam was not with Adam, alone, but with all the innumerable hosts of men that were to be descended from Him. And, therefore, in Adam, when he transgressed, all fell and died. And that second Covenant, made with the second Adam, is not made with Him, alone, but with all the countless hosts of God's elect who were represented in Him and towards whom God entered into a league of solemn amity and of everlasting love with His only-begotten Son. Thus, they are "all of one" in the Divine Design and in the Covenant of Grace.
But there is something better than this, if there can be anything better, for they are "all of one" as to nature. Do not let us ever permit our hearts to lose the sweetness of the fact that the Lord Jesus Christ is really and truly one with us as to nature! In Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily and yet, notwithstanding that, He is Man of the substance of His mother. "Forasmuch, then, as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, He also, Himself, likewise took part of the same." It is easy to say, but it is hard to realize that Jesus Christ is as truly Man as any of us can be. I mean, now that He sits exalted at the right hand of God, He is as truly Man as when He sat on the well and said to the Samaritan woman, "Give Me to drink." Do not let us exalt Him into only a God-man, for if we do, we shall degrade Him into a man-God! He is neither the one nor the other. He is God—diminish not His splendor! He is Man—Man such as we are—forget not His tenderness! In this very chapter, when we read that God has set man over the works of His hands and has put all things in subjection under His feet, does not Paul say, "Now we see not yet all things put under Him"? And then He adds, "But we see Jesus," that is to say, Jesus Christ is Lord—He is set on high, Head over all things. Well, then, says the Apostle, "This Jesus is Man, this is the Man that rules, this is the Man that is over all the works of God's hands because Jesus Christ is Man, the Representative of the human race, even in His majesty as King of kings and Lord of lords, Man in that relationship as well as in every other." Do not let us forget that Believers and their Lord are "all of one"—one indivisible race.
Yet further than that, I want you to notice that they who are sanctified and their Sanctifier are "all of one" because of His representative Character. Whatever Jesus did in the past, He did for us, for we are "all of one." He was circumcised and we are circumcised in Him with the true circumcision not made by hands. When He kept the Law, we kept the Law in Him, for He stood as our Representative. If He died, we reckon that we died in Him and, therefore, we recognize that we live because He lives. Now that He has gone into the heavenlies, it is as our Forerunner, and He has raised us up together with Him and made us sit together with Him in the heavenlies! And in all the Glory that is yet to come we shall be partakers.
Hence follows this further oneness. So are we "all of one" that, from now on we are united in our interests. His concerns and our concerns are one. We have not to speak of what is Christ's and what is His people's, but all that is Christ's belongs to His people, and all that belongs to His people belongs to Him! You are Christ's, Beloved, and Christ is yours! I am sure you cheerfully would acknowledge that you belong to Him—just as joyfully acknowledge that He belongs to you! We have fellowship with Christ, which fellowship means a community of interests. His cause is our cause, His honor is our honor. If He loses, we lose. If He gains, we gain. We triumph when He triumphs, we feel disgraced when His cause is dishonored. Is it not so? "Yes," you say, "on our part we readily recognize that it is so." But it is far more so on Christ's part! He has so espoused you to Himself, O Believer, that you are His and all your interests are His! He who marries a wife takes her to himself and all her concerns are merged in his. But when Jesus Christ took His Church to be His bride, He took over all her debts and liabilities, all her burdens and all her necessities. She had not anything else to bring to her Husband, but He took all that there was—the mighty deficit of her lost estate—He took it over and more than compensated for it by the wondrous fullness of His own riches in Glory! And now there is no line of distinction between the two—"Both He that sanctifies and they who are sanctified are all of one."
I do not know how to speak adequately upon my glorious theme! I have talked about it as it strikes me, but how to bring out its fullness to you, I do not know. I wish that you could sit still and enjoy it. Turn it over and see the many shades of color there are in this piece of the Divine Handiwork! It is like a diamond with many facets which will flash with light whichever way you turn it. Christ and you, "all of one"—all of you who are in Christ made one with each other by being one with Him! Not so blended and united as to become two in union, but one—having one nature, one body, one spirit!
"But we cannot receive the Divine Nature," says one. No, we cannot be Divine, but yet we can be partakers of the Divine Nature in all its moral and spiritual qualities. We are to become holy and we aspire to be perfect even as our Father which is in Heaven is perfect and, then, when we shall have reached that blessed point, we shall more fully have proved the Truth of God that we are "all of one." But long before we attain that height, it is still true, and always will be true, amidst all our infirmities and imperfections, that we are still one with Christ in nature and one with Him in all our interests! What He has done, He has done for us, and it is reckoned as what we have done in Him—and it is ours to work out the life of Christ in our own souls and to feel how truly all that is in Him is also in His people, as all the griefs and woes of His people have been reproduced in Him. "All of one!" I love the very words! Even without any exposition they are music to the believing heart—"Both He that sanctifies and they who are sanctified are all of one."
II. Now, in the second place, I have to notice OUR SAVIOR'S EXPRESSIONS WHICH PROVE THIS WONDERFUL UNITY.
The Apostle says, "for which cause He is not ashamed to call them brethren." He is glorious and they are often in shame and poverty, but He is not ashamed to call them brethren! There is an immeasurable disparity between the Lord Christ and His poor erring disciples, but there is no disparity which His love dwells upon, for He calls them brethren! Our hymn, just now, spoke of it as a wonder—
"That worms of earth should ever be One with Incarnate Deity!"
And truly it is a wonder, yet such a wonder as Christ takes a delight in! "He is not ashamed to call them brethren." They are poor, they are despised, they are persecuted. What is worse, they are imperfect and faulty, often sorrowful, cast down, condemning themselves, groaning at the Mercy Seat—yet, "He is not ashamed to call them brethren." There is such a unity between the Believer, be he in what sorrow he may, and the Christ, be He in what Glory He may, that He is never ashamed to acknowledge the close relationship between them—"He is not ashamed to call them brethren."
Now, as this seemed to be a great thing to say, the Apostle felt obliged to quote three Old Testament Scriptures to show the brotherliness of Christ and His being "all of one" with us. The first passage that he quotes is in Psalm 22:22. Here you have it—"I will declare Your name unto My brethren, in the midst of the Church will I sing praise unto You." The words in these quotations in our English version may not seem to be exactly the same as in the passages referred to, but we must remember, of course, that we are dealing with translations and not with the original writings. This is a part of that marvelous Psalm which was unquestionably the soliloquy of Christ upon the Cross.
Observe, dear Friends, this text is quoted to show us how we are "all of one," and it shows we are "all of one" because Jesus shares our worship. He says, "I will declare Your name unto My brethren." When He was here on earth, He told His brethren much concerning the Father. It was His mission to reveal the Father so that He could say, "He that has seen Me has seen the Father." And when they worshipped the Father in spirit and in truth, it was because He had taught them to do so. His sermons inspired them with that devotion! He spoke to them as a man speaking to men and so He revealed God to them. This passage also shows that Jesus was one with His disciples, for He revealed God not as to strangers, but as to "brethren." He declared the will of God to them, not as to outsiders, but as to "brethren." He had one way of preaching to the crowd and He had quite another way of privately talking to His disciples. He declared the name of God unto His brethren in familiar, loving, tender tones, always putting Himself side by side with them, sometimes speaking of, "My Father and your Father, My God and your God," and always setting forth the great God as belonging as much to them as to Himself—and always speaking of that God, not as some renowned teacher might speak to beings far beneath Him, but as a Brother who has met with the Father, and tells of that Father to His brethren who, as yet, do not fully understand Him. "I will declare Your name unto My brethren." I say, therefore, that the life of Christ in His teaching and in His joining with His disciples in their worship of God proved that He was one with them!
Especially is this evident when we come to the last part of the quotation—"In the midst of the Church will I sing praise unto You." Did Jesus sing? Yes, literally. After supper they sang a hymn. It must have been most thrilling to hear Christ's voice, quivering with emotion, singing the Psalms which constituted the Great Hallel. Those Psalms were usually sung after the Paschal Supper was ended—and the Savior went through them, praising and magnifying Jehovah, joining the little band, I should think, Himself the leader of the Psalmody that it might be seen that He was "all of one" with them! I am the preacher to this congregation and when I speak to you of God, I am sure that I am "all of one" with you. If I speak aright, you might think that we were in a parlor rather than in the Tabernacle. I am not speaking as some great orator might, but as a Brother declaring the Father's name as best I know it.
And when the time comes for singing, then we feel that we are all at one with those who sing with us from the heart, following the same tune, and uttering the same praiseful words. Behold, then, in your midst, O Church of God, in the days of His flesh there stood this glorious One whom angels worship, who is the brightness of His Father's Glory in the very Heaven of heavens! Yet when He stood here, it was to join in the worship of His people, declaring the Father's name unto His brethren, and with them singing praises unto the Most High. Does not this bring Him very near to you? Does it not seem as if He might come at any moment and sit in that pew with you? I feel as if He already stood on this platform side by side with me—why shouldn't He? Oh, happy hour, if we could but see Him in very flesh and blood among us! Yet we know that He is here, even if we cannot see Him, for He has said, "Lo, I am with you always even unto the end of the world."
The second passage which is quoted by the Apostle is not very easy to find. "And again, I will put My trust in Him." I suppose the Apostle quoted from the Septuagint translation and there we get, in the 18th Psalm, at the second verse, these words, "I will hope in Him." It is so rendered in that version, but Paul read it, "I will put My trust in Him." We believe that is the passage he intended to quote. Now we are told by Inspiration in this place that this verse is the language of Christ and if so, it brings Him very near to us. The Psalm, itself, you will see, if you will read it through at home, looks as if it were David speaking, but we are here told that it was Christ. Well, it is no matter. Frequently in the Psalms you are unable to tell whether it is David or David's greater Son who is speaking, which very ambiguity is the source of instruction, because it shows how they are, "all of one," so that David, who is the sanctified one, speaks in such terms as might be used by the Sanctifier, Himself! The Book of Psalms is, indeed, throughout, one of the most wonderful proofs of how near the Believer is to Him in whom he believes, so that the very same words and phrases which were appropriate in the mouth of David, for himself, are equally appropriate if he speaks by way of prophecy concerning the Messiah.
Still, let me ask you to notice that the pith of the quotation is that Jesus Christ put His trust in God. That is to say, He was a partaker of our faith. It is by faith that we are justified. It is by faith that we overcome the world. It is by faith that we do everything. Had Jesus such a faith as that? Yes, He had—it was by His faith that He vanquished the adversary in that triple duel in the wilderness! It was by faith that He prevailed in prayer on the lone mountainside! It was by faith that He went up to the Cross, alone, by Himself, for His people! I will go further and say that Jesus Christ is still to us the greatest Exemplar of faith. "What?" you exclaim, "in Heaven, is He still our greatest Exemplar of faith?" Yes—"from henceforth expecting till His enemies are made His footstool." And what is expectation based upon but upon faith?
Moreover, our blessed Lord is always engaged in intercessory prayer. Remember this text—"Ask of Me and I shall give You the heathen for Your inheritance"? He is asking and He is asking in faith. And the life of Christ, now, concerning His coming, His Kingdom and the ultimate triumph of His righteous cause, is still an exhibition of faith—and this makes Him very near of kin to us. Do You believe, my Master? "Yes," He says. Then, as I, also, believe, we are both Believers and we are "all of one."
Now, Brothers and Sisters in Christ, does not this bring your Lord very near to you? Why, as if to show you that He came very near to you, there is one point that some Believers omit, but which Jesus did not omit. It is described in that familiar passage, "He that believes and is baptized shall be saved." Surely, His was a case where Baptism might fitly have been omitted! But, no—He comes to Jordan and He asks John to baptize Him. And when the good man says, "I have need to be baptized of You, and come You to me?" yet the condescending Savior, that He might be "all of one" with us, said, "Suffer it to be so now, for thus it becomes us to fulfill all righteousness." Blessed are you who follow the Lamb wherever He goes! Happy are you who in all things desire to be like unto your Head, even as He, in all things, has been made like unto you. Are you tried in your faith? So was He! Are you tempted? So was He! Temptations of the worst kind assailed the purity of His Nature, as they assail you. But He stood and you shall stand! He overcame by the use of, "It is written," and that same Sword of the Spirit is ready to your hand! Use it, by faith, and so overcome the Wicked One.
The last passage which the Apostle quotes is taken from Isaiah, the eighth chapter and the 18th verse—"Behold I and the children which God has given Me." This is yet to be fulfilled. I have shown you Christ as He was one with us and Christ as He is one with us. Now you shall see Christ as He is to be one with us. There shall be a day when He shall be manifested. At this hour, He is the hidden Christ, and our life is hid with Him. But He is one day to appear. Then will He say, "Behold, here am I," and all shall see Him—even they who crucified Him—shall behold Him when He comes in His
Observe that, in that day, He is to appear with His children—with those who have received life out of His life, those to whom He is the Adam, the true Father, the Everlasting Father. He shall not appear alone—He would not care to do so. He shall be manifested with His saints! When He shall appear, we shall appear with Him. "Behold," He says, "I and the children." You see, He glories in them! He uses a phrase such as you would use ofyour children, a comely group, perhaps, of little ones, or perhaps, of grown-up sons and daughters. It is some high anniversary—suppose it is your golden wedding, and the glory of the day is not yourself alone, but the children. When you kneel together at the family altar, you say, "Lord, behold, here am I and the children You have given me." You would not be half so happy if you could not mention their names, they are so dear to you! Well that is how Jesus puts it—"Behold I and the children."
And then He uses such a sweet phrase about them. He says, "the children which God has given Me." You know that, in the 17th of John, in that wonderful prayer of our Lord to His Father, He always calls His disciples, "those whom You have given Me." He likes to dwell on that fact! They are precious to Him in themselves, but far more precious as the Father's gift to Him! Some things are valued by you as keepsakes given by one you love and so are we dear to Christ because His Father gave us to Him! "The children which God has given Me." Sweet, sweet words! But do they not show you what oneness there is between Christ and His people? The father and the mother are marvelously one with their own children when those children have not grieved them, but have made them happy, so that they can speak of them as the children that God has given them! Then you see how they are knit together as one. That is a wonderful expression that is used concerning David, where Abigail said that his soul should be bound in the bundle of life with the Lord his God. So is it truly with all the Lord's redeemed—they are bound in the bundle of life with Christ and He says—"Behold I and the children which God has given Me."
It seems to imply that He would feel Himself bereaved if they were not there. If He could not say, "I and the children which God has given Me," He would be like Naomi when she came back from Moab and said, "Call me not, Naomi. Call me Mara," for she had lost her children. Shall Jesus, the great Father of the age, lose any of His redeemed? Shall He fail to see of the travail of His soul? Shall the children born of His agony and passion, after all, expire, or be taken from Him? Never! Glorious Christ, at the last, You shall say, "Here am I and the children which God has given Me."
Our Lord appears, by these words, to call the world's attention to His people together with Himself. "Behold," says He—not, "Behold Me," but, "Behold, I and the children whom the Lord has given Me are for signs and for wonders." Jesus will be nothing except His people are there with Him, even in the Great Day of His appearing! Oh, I feel as if I could stop and ask you to sing those lines of which dear old Rowland Hill was so fond—
"But this I do find, we two are so joined, He'll not live in Glory and leave me behind." Jesus will not have Heaven without us! He will not have His Crown without us! He will not have His Throne without us! He will not have the Father's House without us! He will not go unto His rest without us, for He has made us to be part of Himself—we are "all of one." Just think of Christ without His people. A head without members of the body—what a ghastly sight! A shepherd without sheep—what an unhappy person! A father without children—what a desolated heart! No, no, it shall not be so! Christ is one with His people and "who shall separate us from the love of Christ?" Well may I answer with the Apostle, "I am persuaded that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord."
O people of God, be as happy as ever you can! Rejoice in the Lord "with joy unspeakable and full of glory." If you should be so full of joy as not to be able to contain yourselves, you would not be more happy than you are warranted in being by the blessed Truth of God which I have set before you, that Christ and you are "all of one."
As for you who have no part nor lot in this matter, God have mercy upon you and bring you by faith to look to Christ, and to be joined forever to Him, for His dear sake! Amen.
EXPOSITION BY C. H. SPURGEON:
You will not need any comment on this Psalm if, while we read it, you see Christ on the Cross, and you think that you hear Him uttering these sacred words. This Psalm is dedicated "to the Chief Musician upon Aijeleth Shahar, or, the hind of the morning," for Jesus brings the morning with Him whenever He comes.
Verse 1. MY God, My God, why have You forsaken Me? It was not morning with Jesus when He uttered these words—it was midnight—but His midnight is our morning.
1. Why are You so far from helping Me, and from the words of My roaring? The prayer had come to be almost inarticulate, like the dying moan of a wounded beast in the forest.
2. O My God. This is the third time He has cried out, "My God." Note that.
2. I cry in the daytime, but You hear not; and in the night season, and am not silent. The worst grief of a child of God is not to be heard in prayer. Think, then, what it must have been for the Well-Beloved to have to say to His Father, "O My God, I cry in the daytime, but You hear not; and in the night season, and am not silent."
3. But You are holy. He would bring no charge against God even though He forsook Him. 3-6. O You that inhabits the praises of Israel. Our fathers trusted in You. They trusted, and You did deliver them. They cried unto You, and were delivered: they trusted in You, and were not confounded. But I am a worm, and no man. Think that you hear your Lord saying this and comparing Himself to a little red worm which, when crushed, seems to be nothing but a mass of blood.
6-8. A reproach of men, and despised of the people. All they that see Me laugh Me to scorn: they shoot out the lip, they shake the head, saying, He trusted on the LORD that He would deliver Him: let Him deliver Him, seeing He delighted in Him. What scorn! How it must have entered like vitriol into the veins of Christ—a strong corrosive of dreadful sarcasm without a drop of pity mixed with it!
9-11. But You are He that took Me out of the womb: You did make Me hope when I was upon My mother's breasts. I was cast upon You from the womb: You are My God from My mother's belly. Be not far from Me; for trouble is near; for there is none to help. God had taken care of Christ in His infancy—that miraculous birth of His was under Divine control—will not the Lord care for Him, now that He is even more weak and nearer to the gates of death than in the first morning of His infant weakness?
12. Many bulls have compassed Me. There they stood, the strong legionaries of Rome, proud priests of Judea, and the princes of the people, all thirsting for His blood!
12-14. Strong bulls of Bashan have beset Me round. They gaped upon Me with their mouths, as a ravening and a roaring lion. I am poured out like water. Dissolved, separated like drops of water poured out of a vessel.
14. And all My bones are out of joint. My heart is like wax. "The very fountain of My strength is turned to weakness." 14, 15. It is melted in the midst of My bowels. My strength is dried up like a potsherd; and My tongue cleaves to My jaws; and You have brought Me into the dust of death. Fever had worked upon Him. The hanging in the midday sun, the excruciating pains in His hands and feet, the dragging weight of His body, the tearing of the nails and the continually increasing agony of His wounds had brought Him into the very dust of death.
16. For dogs have compassed Me. The many, the vulgar multitude, like a pack of hounds, crowded around the Savior on the Cross.
16. The assembly of the wicked have enclosed Me: they pierced My hands and My feet. David could never say this of himself—no one else but our Lord Jesus Christ could talk after this wondrous fashion. Yet this Psalm was written hundreds of years before Christ came here among men—and the Jews treasured it up, little understanding that it described their Messiah and ours—and described Him literally, too.
17. I may count all My bones. Jesus could look down upon His own emaciated person as He hung there naked upon the Cross.
17. They look and stare upon Me. Their cruel inquisitive gazing galled His delicate sensitive Nature. 18-21. They part My garments among them, and cast lots upon My vesture. But be not You far from Me, O LORD: O My Strength, hasten You to help Me. Deliver My soul from the sword; My precious life from the power of the dog. Save Me from the lion's mouth: for You have heard Me from the horns of the wild oxen! He had been heard in past years and He pleads for similar acceptance now. He encourages His faith by a retrospect of God's preserving power in former dangers.
22. I will declare Your name unto My brethren: in the midst of the congregation will I praise You. A gleam of sunlight now comes over the Cross. the thick darkness is melting away and the Savior is triumphing even in His dying hour! He is passing away from the agonizing cry, "Why have You forsaken Me?" to His last victorious utterance, "It is finished!" A wonderful change comes over the Savior's expressions from this point.
23, 24. You that fear the LORD, praise Him; all you the seed of Jacob, glorify Him; and fear Him, all you the seed of Israel. For He has not despised nor abhorred the affliction of the afflicted; neither has He hid His face from Him; but when He cried unto Him, He heard. Here is the testimony of One who suffered more than all of us put together will ever suffer! He endured the hiding of God's face and yet He lives to declare the faithfulness of God! He says that when He cried unto His Father, He heard Him.
25. My praise shall be of You in the great congregation. It is so, here, this evening—Christ is praising God in this congregation! As we read these words of His dying testimony, we, too, are encouraged to believe that the God who heard Him will hear us and deliver us!
25, 26. I will pay My vows before them that fear Him. The meek shall eat and be satisfied: they shall praise the LORD that seek Him: your heart shall live forever. He is talking the matter over to Himself and comforting Himself with the prospect of the results of His suffering. He sees the vast numbers of people who will be saved through His atoning Sacrifice, He sees the meek ones coming to His feet and He is happy. Because of the joy that was set before Him, He endured the Cross, despising the shame.
27. All the ends of the world shall remember and turn unto the LORD: and all the kindreds of the nations shall worship before You. He talks of the LORD and He talks to the LORD—"Before You." He talks about God's Glory and about the salvation of the heathen, and about all nations worshipping the one true God.
28-30. For the Kingdom is the LORD'S: and He rules over all the nations. All they that are prosperous upon earth shall eat and worship: all they that go down to the dust shall bow before Him: and none can keep alive his own soul. A posterity shall serve Him. He Himself was like a seed about to be put into the ground that He might bring forth fruit unto God— and He cheers His heart with the prospect.
30, 31. It shall be accounted to the Lord for a generation. They shall come. How He rolls it like a sweet morsel under His tongue! "They shall come." Those great sinners, those far-off ones, "they shall come"—
31. And shall declare His righteousness unto a people that shall be born, that He has done this. Or, "It is finished." There the Psalm ends and that was the Master's dying cry.
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