CHRIST IS PRECIOUS ~ Part 2 ~ Octavius Winslow

But this personal representation of the Lord Jesus involves also the preciousness of His manhood. His personal alliance with our nature, His condescending stoop to our humanity, is not the least endearing feature to the heart of His believing saints. We have claimed for the Son of God absolute deity; we now claim for Him perfect humanity. Flesh, real and substantial, yet, “harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners” (Heb 7:26) was He “made.” A humanity identical with His people in all but its original and actual sinfulness. “Who knew no sin” (2 Cor, 5:21). Yet, what a sin-bearer was He! All the transgressions of His elect met upon Him! But He could only bear sin as He Himself was essentially free from its taint. Had there been the remotest breath of pollution adhering to Him— had one drop of the moral virus circulated through His veins, it had rendered Him utterly and forever incapable of presenting to the justice of God an atonement for sin. He then had needed, like the high priest of old, to have offered first “for his own sins, and then for the people’s” (Heb. 7:27). How precious, then, beloved, is our Lord Jesus as “bone of our bone and flesh of our flesh.” Think of His perfect humanity—a humanity free from sin, and therefore capable of dying for the ungodly—a humanity laden with sorrow, and therefore capable of sympathizing with the afflicted. Precious to our hearts as God—precious as Man—precious as both united in one—inconceivably and eternally precious is He, Whose name is “Wonderful” (Isa 9:6) to His believing saints. Tell, oh tell how precious is that humanity of the Son of God that partook by actual participation and still bears by the most perfect sympathy all the sinless weaknesses, infirmities, temptations, and sorrows of His people. Precious humanity! to which, when other human friendships are changed, other human love is chilled, and other human sympathy is exhausted, you may repair and find it an evergreen, a perennial stream, a gushing fountain of unchanged affection, tenderness, and sympathy, meeting and satisfying to their utmost capacity your hearts’ deep pantings. Precious humanity! that dries each tear, that bears each burden, that is touched with each infirmity, that soothes each sorrow, and that succors each temptation of His people. “In all things it behoved him to be made like unto his brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people. For in that he himself hath suffered being tempted, he is able to succour them that are tempted” (Heb 2:17-18).

Oh, love the Lord, then, all ye His saints; laud Him, all ye His people! In all your deep grief, your lonely sorrows, your sore trials, your fiery temptations, your pressing wants, your daily infirmities, repair to the succourings, and the sympathies, and the intercessions of His humanity, and learn how precious Jesus can be to the hearts of His suffering and sorrowing ones. Upon this rock of Christ’s complex person, God has built His Church; and the gates of hell cannot prevail against it.

Precious is the Lord Jesus in His work…Look at the groundwork of our salvation. “Thus saith the Lord GOD, Behold, I lay in Zion for a foundation a stone, a tried stone, a precious corner stone, a sure foundation”(Isa. 28:16). Upon such a foundation, we look for a superstructure in all respects worthy of its costliness and capability. We find it in the work of Jesus. Oh, what a superstructure is it—nothing less than the salvation of His Church! Such a work was worthy of God, and of all the glory, wisdom, and power embarked in its accomplishment. Nowhere have we such a perfect view of the divine glory as through the medium of the cross. That magnificent sky that spreads above us, studded and glowing with countless myriads of worlds, pales before the subdued glory, the softened splendor of the cross of Christ.

Nowhere does Jehovah-Jesus appear to the spiritual, believing mind so exalted as when He stoops, so glorious as when in eclipse, so holy as when bearing sin, so loving as when enduring its punishment, so triumphant as when vanquished upon the cross! Oh, study not God in the jeweled heavens, in the sublimity of the mountain, in the beauty of the vale, in the grandeur of the ocean, in the murmurs of the stream, in the music of the winds. God made all this, but all this is not God. Study Him in the cross of Jesus! Look at Him through this wondrous telescope, and although, as through a glass darkly, you behold His glory—the Godhead in awful eclipse, the Sun of His deity setting in blood—yet that rude and crimsoned cross more fully reveals the mind of God, more harmoniously discloses the perfections of God, more perfectly unveils the heart of God, and more fully exhibits the glory of God, than the combined power of ten thousand worlds like this, even though sin had never marred, and the curse had never blighted it. Study God in Christ, and Christ on the cross. Oh, the marvels that meet in it—the glory that gathers round it—the streams of blessing that flow from it—the deep, refreshing shadow it casts in the happy experience of all who look to Jesus and live—who look to Jesus and love—who look to Jesus and obey—who look to Jesus and embrace that blessed “hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began” (Ti. 1:2).

A worthy structure this of a foundation so divine! What could be more worthy of God, Whose essence is “love,” than the salvation of His people? In nothing could He appear more like Himself. Upon no platform could He so honorably and completely withdraw the veil from His perfections, and stand forth in His full-orbed majesty, “mighty to save” (Isa. 63:1) as this. Humble believer in Christ, you are saved! Happy saint of God, you shall be in heaven! Christ has paid your debt, opened your prison, broken your chains, and set you free from the Law’s curse, from sin’s condemnation, and from death’s penalty, and you will be forever with the Lord! Is not this enough to make your whole life, clouded and checkered* though it is, a sweet psalm of praise—thus learning the first notes of the song that will employ your tongue through eternity?

P *checkered – uneven or inconsistent and characterized by periods of trouble.

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