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THE SUFFERING SAVIOUR.
"Then He took unto Him the twelve, and said unto them, Behold, we go up to Jerusalem, and all things that are written by the prophets concerning the Son of Man shall be accomplished. For He shall be delivered unto the Gentiles, and shall be mocked, and spitefully entreated, and spat upon; and they shall scourge Him, and put Him to death; and the third day He shall rise again."-LUKE Xviii. 31, 32, 33.
THE Saviour here gives us a very delightful view of the Old Testament Scriptures-they testify of Him. He is their main theme; He is the treasure in this mine; He is the sun in this firmament; He is the tree of life in this paradise. The testimony which they bear to His person, character, and work, is clear, encouraging and sure. "To Him give all the prophets witness." The Scriptures had been fulfilled in reference to His birth, teaching, and miracles; and now they were to be fulfilled in reference to His death, resurrection, and ascension. "All things that are written by the prophets concerning the Son of Man shall be accomplished." The Saviour here recognizes the inspiration of the Scriptures. The prophets were inspired to foretel wonderful things concerning the Saviour. They foretold His death. The Psalmist foretold the mode of His death-that He would die by crucifixion: "The assembly of the wicked have enclosed me: they pierced my hands and my feet." Daniel foretold the time of His death-" Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteous ness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy. Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto Messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks." The seventy weeks here mentioned mean "seventy weeks" of years; that is, four hundred and ninety years. Seventy weeks contain ten Jubilees; and denote the bringing in of the most complete Jubilee." The Psalmist also predicts the spectators of His death—" They look and stare upon me." And was not this the case? The sacred historian says, " And all the
people that came together to that sight, beholding the things which were done, smote their breasts, and returned. And all His acquaintance, and the women that followed Him from Galilee, stood afar off, beholding these things." The spectators of this great sight saw the earthquake, and darkness, and sufferings of Jesus; and smote their breasts in token of alarm, fear, and anguish. They feared the wrath of God for the great crime committed by putting an innocent person to death. The Psalmist also foretold the circumstances of His death. He foretold the casting of the lots for His vesture. They part my garments among them, and cast lots upon my vesture."-Now mark the fulfilment. “Then the soldiers, when they had crucified Jesus, took His garments, and made four parts, to every soldier a part; and also His coat: now the coat was without seam, woven from the top throughout. They said, therefore, among themselves, Let us not rend it, but cast lots for it, whose it shall be: that the Scripture might be fulfilled, which saith, They parted my raiment among them, and for my vesture did they cast lots. These things, therefore, the soldiers did." (John xix. 23, 24.) The Psalmist foretold His cry on the cross, "My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken And the wicked conduct of His enemies-" All they that see me laugh me to scorn; they shoot out the lip, they shake the head."-(Psalm xxii. 6, 8.) The prophet Isaiah foretold the design of His death. He says, "He was wounded for our transgressions." His resurrection was also foretold. For thou wilt not leave my soul in hell; neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption. Thou wilt show me the path of life."-(Psalm xvi. 10, 11.) The Psalmist here foretold that the Messiah would not be left amongst the dead, but would be raised up again. Hell commonly means, in Scripture, the place of punishment; but sometimes it is used, as here, to signify the state of death, or the place of departed spirits generally; as if it had been said, "Thou wilt not leave my soul in the invisible state, apart from my body." And His exaltation was foretold: "The Lord said unto my Lord, Sit thou at my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool." The allusion is to the ancient custom of conquerors in placing their feet on the necks of the vanquished.-(Joshua x. 24.) The Father was determined that His Son, after His suffering, should be exalted to heaven, and there enjoy eternal honour. These predictions were written for ages before their fulfilment; and at various times; and by many prophets. They are numerous,
minute, and many eyes saw their accomplishment. Christ said to His apostles, " And ye are witnesses of these things."
The fulfilment of these predictions was a matter of immense importance. This confirms the truth of the Old Testament Scriptures; and this is important, for they are our guide to heaventhey are the food of our souls-they contain the wells of salvation. They contain glorious doctrines, wise precepts, and precious promises. And these predictions must be fulfilled, or there would be no foundation for our hope, no fountain for our cleansing, no way to heaven. Ought not Christ to suffer these things, and to enter into His glory?" He must endure the cross before He could receive the crown. The fulfilment of these predictions has brought vast glory to God; prepared the way for the descent of the Spirit; and has promoted the welfare of the world. And here let us note the wonderful care of Divine providence in carrying out the eternal purposes of God, revealed in His Word. He knows all that is written, and will do as He has said. He is the faithful God. "Then He took unto Him the twelve, and said unto them, Behold, we go up to Jerusalem, and all things that are written by the prophets concerning the Son of Man shall be accomplished. For He shall be delivered unto the Gentiles, and shall be mocked, and spitefully entreated, and spitted on: and they shall scourge Him, and put Him to death." Here we see that the sufferings of Jesus were voluntary. He proposes to go to Jerusalem, where He would be treated in the manner foretold by the prophets. He knew what awaited Him there, yet He was willing to go, for He loved us; and His love moved Him to do all that was necessary for our salvation. He was willing to be betrayed by Judas, denied by Peter, and put to death by His enemies, that He might accomplish the design of His mission, and open up for us a way of access to God. His zeal was quenchless. He was intent upon doing the will of His Father-fulfilling the Scriptures-and laying the sure foundation for human hope. He was resolved to
leave nothing unaccomplished. And He still perseveres in
heaven, in fulfilling all His covenant engagements. The Father has put the redemption of His people into good hands. The last day will show His fidelity.
And let us be affected by the deep humiliation of our Saviour. Who was it that was thus treated? This was an innocent person-the true Messiah-the great teacher-the kind benefactor-the Son of God-the King of kings. He humbled himself!
think of this, and let me be concerned to live to Him, who has
Behold, we go up to Jerusalem." Here we see the moral courage of the Saviour in the prospect of His sufferings and death. He saw His agony, His crown of thorns, His cross, His humiliation, His pierced side, yet He proposed to go to the scene of it all. "And it came to pass, when the time was come that He should be received up, He steadfastly set His face to go to Jerusalem." The time appointed for Him to be on the earth was about expiring, and He resolved to go to Jerusalem and die. He was not appalled by the dangers; He was determined to brave all, and go up into the midst of His enemies. What gave such courage to Christ in the prospect of His awful sufferings? There was His love to His Father and to us; there was entire confidence in the success of His cause; there was the reward promised to Him-the approbation of His Father, and the momentous blessings resulting to His followers. Let me live to Him, who lived for me.
"AND ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." -(John viii. 32.) These words were addressed by the Great Teacher to young converts. "Then said Jesus unto them, When ye have lifted up the Son of man, then shall ye know that I am He, and that do nothing of myself; but as my Father hath taught me, I speak these things. And He that sent me is with me; the Father hath not left me alone; for I do always those things that please Him." They would have abundant evidence to demonstrate
Him to be the Messiah-as the pro-
sacrifice as a Saviour; submits to His government as a King. The Gospel requires faith in the record God has given us concerning His Son. The sick must have faith in the physician, or there can be no cure. The alien must have faith in the mediator, or there can be no reconciliation. The sinner must have confidence in the Saviour, or there can be no salvation. And this faith must be abiding, or there can be no saving interest in Christ. "Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on Him, if ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed.” His disciples must continue in His school; His sheep must continue in His fold; His soldiers must continue in His army. The Saviour requires continuance in religion. The runner must continue to run the race, or he will not gain the prize; the soldier must continue to fight, or he will not conquer his enemy; the subject must continue to obey, or he will lose the crown promised to the faithful. The result of this continuance in a faithful adherence to Him will be a growing acquaintance with revealed truth; and the result of this, an increasing deliverance from the power of sin, and a growing assimilation to the moral image of the Saviour.
then they will grow in grace, and in meetness for heaven. "Then shall we know, if we follow on to know the Lord: His going forth is prepared as the morning, and He shall come unto us as the rain, as the latter and former rain unto the earth." The text implies, that for an immortal soul to enjoy spiritual freedom is a matter of immense importance. The soul by nature is not free, but in awful bondage; sin reigns in the affections, in the will, in the spring of our actions; so that our nature is corrupt, and unfit for heaven. "Whoso committeth sin, is the servant of sin." Sinners are the servants of sin, and thereby show that their will, affections, and understanding, are enslaved by sin. Now deliverance from this moral slavery must be important, for the soul is immortal, and if not freed from sin in this life, will be miserable for ever. Deliverance is possible, for Christ visited our world in order to lay a foundation for our spiritual emancipation in His death as a sacrifice for sin; and having accomplished the sublime design of His mission, the Gospel proclaims liberty to the captives. The moment they truly believe in Jesus, this glorious freedom commences. Then the believer is justified by the imputation of the Saviour's righteousness, so that his sins are forgiven; he is acquitted at God's bar, and is treated as a child of God. "Therefore, being justified by faith, he has peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ." And now he is renewed by the Holy Spirit, and seeks after conformity to the moral image of God.-(Titus iii. 5.) Now he is
"And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” All Christians do know it. They have experienced its saving power in their conversion to God, in the renovation of their moral nature, and in the enthronement of the Saviour in their affections; but they must try to know it better, and