Christ on the Cross 2

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There is one thing very helpful in studying truth connected with the several glories which center in Christ in the latter day; viz., that they have their importance according to the place in which they are displayed. There' is a vast variety in the expression of these glories. The majesty of the divine effulgence is seen through the Son in His glory as Head of the Church, as the last Adam, and as King of the Jews, in the heavenlies and in the earthlies, but there is a correspondence to a certain extent in all these fields of glory.
Government and worship even belong to God, and in a sense they are always the same. God is the object, and the Spirit is the medium,, and both roll from, God, while they return to God. God displays Himself in the heavens. Earth is the place where God cannot come because of sin, so there is all the difference between that which is above and what is below. Compare the last eight chapters of Ezekiel with Rev. 21 and xxii. The former is a reflection of the latter. God and the Lamb cannot be the temple below, so there is a temple there. In heaven there is no need for a temple, for God and the Lamb are the temple. In government, too, there is a difference above-and below. The bride is associated with the throne, the-dominion and power in Revelation; in Ezekiel it is Jehovah. Still the millennial power wielded by Christ on earth will be the counterpart of what is in heaven. Thus Christ is the center in all, God is the spring in all, and the Holy Ghost is the power in all. There are thoughts in connection with redemption that are universally true. The serpent's head is to be broken. That was prophesied in Eden, and all was working towards the fulfillment of it. Christ is the atonement in all the dispensations, and by the Holy Ghost is the application of it.
Another thing is very helpful to see; viz., the Headship of Christ. He is the second Adam, the second Noah, the second King of Israel, the second Head of the Gentiles. In Psa. 22 there are the breathings of Jesus in suffering and in joy. The Psalms are the expressions of the Spirit of God in man on earth. We find in the same psalms often the language of Him who is the Fountain Head (who knew no sin), and of those who speak of sins committed by them. Christ, being perfect, could say, " My flesh crieth out for the living God." Illy flesh cannot do this. I would ask you to examine whether there are not two parties often to be found in the same psalms. One perfectly pure; the other, sin there, but not imputed. The first two verses of this psalm take up the language of these two parties; verse 1, the language of Christ Himself, and verse 2, " I cry in the daytime, and thou hearest not," &c., although true of Christ is at the same time the expression of the Spirit of Christ in the remnant when they have little faith. This may be the genuine expression of the Spirit of God in us, not understanding the full work of atonement. There are verses in the Psalms which seem true of the Church, and true of Israel, because true of Christ. The Church is not intended in the primary application, but as in Christ, a rib of Him, they are true. (v. 2.) The
Church ought to see judgment behind the cross. God begins with us, as He did with Paul, in heavenly glory. " My measure," God says, " is Christ, whom I have received up to my right-hand." That is the way God begins with us. You may say, It was not so with me. Why? Because you are Judaized; but you ought not to have been on the ground of the ten commandments at all. The Jew is not on the same ground as we are; he has to learn to measure man, and to find out all his opposition and ruin.
There was an element of sorrow peculiar to the Lord Jesus. He took the cup of trembling, the wrath of God, alone. There had been the waters of the Deluge, the fire of Sodom, but no wrath was like that Christ bore, because none ever tasted what sin is but Christ, when He settled the matter about it. Sin can have nothing from God but judgment. When sin is even upon His Son, His word to Him is like this: " I have no light for thee." The Lord Jesus tasted fully what it was to be in the presence of God as the Sin-bearer. It is quite distinct from the sufferings spoken of in the following verses of the psalm. There, and in the gospels, we get the expression and narration of His bodily sufferings. But all these heaped up together are not to be compared with His inward anguish. The brilliancy of who Christ was, nowhere shines out as in this psalm (see v. 3), the expression of which is, " If I am forsaken, thy name must be taken care of." (vv. 5-7.) Why did He trust, and get no answer? The answer was, He was a sin-offering, and ought to be treated as an unclean thing. As the sin-offering, Christ had taken our sins as a fillet about Him. (v. 7.) There is the detail of sufferings-the taunt, the pout of the lip, &c.
Verse 9, is very remarkable, pointing out a peculiar element of the mind of the Lord Jesus. (This, too, Paul, Gal. 1:1515But when it pleased God, who separated me from my mother's womb, and called me by his grace, (Galatians 1:15).) In the experience of the depth of trial and suffering, Christ remembers that God His Father is the God of providence. This is most important for the people of God to remember. See Moses and Jeremiah also. God knew what vessel He wanted, and could fit for the service. This adds great poignancy to the sorrow expressed in the first verse. The Lord alludes here to the providential care of God. “Thou hast sustained, guarded, cared for me up to this moment, and I am forsaken now!" “Crucified through weakness" is a word that had its full meaning for the Lord. He knew what a fainting heart meant. Verse 19 is also remarkable. He will not give up the truth, whether for Himself or others, that God was His strength. He would not give an answer and speak for Himself, because of the burden He carried on His heart. In verse 20, there are objects dear to Him which He will not let go-" Deliver my darling from the power of the dog." He will speak everything for God, everything for the people, but not for Himself. Contrast the Lord's conduct here with our own in the wilderness in all ages. In Him there was no murmur, no tossing to and fro, no restless impatience, no struggling under the yoke. Were you ever in sorrow like this-comforters not one? But you had Christ in heaven, whoever else you had not.
One word here in connection with the latter part of the psalm. I cannot help thinking that, although it is not quoted in the gospels, Christ had this spring of comfort in His soul all the time. He had the word ever laid up in His heart, and though He is not cited as Jehovah's fellow in connection with turning His hand on the little ones when the other part, " Smite the shepherd," is quoted, He must have known the connection. There
were three grand titles belonging to Christ as the deliverer. As Prophet, Priest, and King He had been presented to Israel, and He was all these as the sin-bearer, and the servant of Jehovah. This added to the bitterness of His being seen by them, not recognized, but rejected of God. An ambassador would feel a private mark of the sovereign's displeasure, but he would feel much more deeply his rejection in open court. Christ, though the faithful servant, was here on the cross not recognized. (v. 22.) What a verse this is There is not a waver. He knew His Father's name. His glory and His first thought is to proclaim that name to His people. There were the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow. There are three concentric circles round Christ-His brethren, the seed of Israel, and the ends of the world. (vv. 22-24.) We greatly fail to realize the Lord as the Leader of worship. I believe we little think what it will be to hear the Lord Jesus sing praise.
In verse 24, there is the subject of praise. What am I to sing about with Jesus? we might say; He will sing of things I cannot touch. But no; the Lord will choose a theme in which we can join; and when we see that it is God's faithfulness to Him that He will sing about, is there one who will not echo "Amen" to His praise? "He hath not despised nor abhorred the affliction of the afflicted." When we remember how He went down into the lowest judgment for our sins, we can sing with Him that song. We must not forget the range of the glories of Christ. There is not only the Church in the heavenlies, but Israel on the earth coming up to keep holiday unto the Lord. Then Christ will be the setter-up of worship as well as the changer of dispensations. What a scene the millennial age will be! All the power will be His to sustain the government as Son of man, as well as He is the Leader and Sustainer of communion.
Verse 27 shows the extent of worship; verse 29, Israel's history. When they shall get back a little to their earthly center, all their energy will be used in setting up antichrist. Thus will be fully proved that they could not " keep alive their own soul." Then, when fully broken down in their extremity, a remnant is brought through to serve the Lord Jesus. See the bearing of all this practically (as to the finished work of Christ being in heaven). What does God show us of things on earth? When the testimony shall be on earth Christ will be on earth. This truth (Christ in heaven) is the key to unlock the systems of religion from Constantine downwards.
Is our religion down here? Where is the kingdom of the Lord Jesus? Where is the worship of which the Holy Ghost is the power, Christ the center? Nowhere, but as connected with heaven. Another thing to be noticed is, that there is all blessing for those whose sins were borne by Christ on the tree. You must either say, " Christ has borne all my judgment for me," or else you must know you can have no standing before God in the judgment. What is your thought about Christ being at home, though you are in the wilderness still? If you are out in peril and suffering, you are glad that the objects dearest to you are at home in safety. Thus do we not feel joy that the earthly course of Christ is finished? It ought to be
so. Ask yourselves this question, Do you love the Lord? Then is it joy to you that He has entered the rest? If our thoughts are right about Him, it will make our sorrows light to remember that He is no longer exposed to suffering. "If ye loved me, ye would rejoice, because I said, I go unto the Father."