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name a reproach, himself an
ridicule of the Jewish nation.
outcast, the sport and
We discover Jesus, as
the surety of man, cheerfully lay aside for a season all his visible and personal glory*, to recompense the injury God's manifested glory had sustained by the creature's sin. And as Adam the creature, sinned in aspiring to be as Godt, so Christ, the Son of God, in making restitution, condescended to assume the creature. The satisfaction of Jesus did not consist merely in his obedience and sufferings, but also in his abasement and humiliation. He emptied himself, as it were, of all personal glory to honour God, who, in the person of God the Father, covenanted to maintain and demand the honour and dignity due to Godhead. The apostasy and disobedience of man had reflected dishonour on God, therefore Jesus submitted to shame and reproach, and to have his personal glory debased to make reparation. The lower he humbled himself, the greater honour did he reflect upon God, and the greater was the display of his love to man. When we consider the character of him with whom it robbery to be equal with God," and contrast
the true dignity of his person, with his appearance and reception on earth, we are overwhelmed at the extent of his zeal for his Father's honour, and his love for the fallen race of Adam, which prompted him to descend from the heights of glory and blessedness to take the lowest rank, and most humbled situation*, in society, to raise and exalt his enemies to a participation and share in the glories of his Heavenly Kingdom. Surely" this was compassion like a God."
He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he opened not his mouth. -Isaiah liii. 7.
IT is scarcely possible not to see that it is Jesus who is here held forth to our view. Who so oppressed and afflicted as he? Who so patient under insult and tyrannical cruelty? Who so silent under the voice of calumny? What lamb so patient under the hand of the destroyer? He did not resist, he did not oppose; yea, he did not even attempt
* Luke xxii. 27.
to vindicate his conduct; but, with meekness, gentleness, and cheerfulness did he hear, bear, and suffer, all that malice could devise, or cruelty inflict. Although he bore their unjust treatment without murmuring, yet his was not the tame submission of one insensible of wrong, or incapable of resistance.*
Under the law, the lamb intended as a sacrifice was first taken to the door of the tabernacle, that the priest might have any opportunity to discover if it was free from blemish;† and Jesus the Lamb of God was not offered as a sacrifice without being first brought bound before the High Priest. But he, blinded by prejudice and passion, neglected to perform this part of his office. Yet this spotless lamb was not led forth for slaughter, [before his purity had been attested; and, though the Priest refused to do it, Herod and Pilate gave their testimony to the fact, that in him they could find no fault. He was perfectly free from spot or blemish. He alone is the Lamb whose sacrifice can benefit either Jew or Gentile. It would be easy to shew, that all other sacrifices were but typical of this Lamb, viewed as slain from the foundation of the world; but, as it is more
* Matthew xxvi. 53. † Leviticus ix. 3. 5.
connected with type than prophecy, it would be improper here.
He was taken from prison and from judgment: and who shall declare his generation? for he was cut off out of the land of the living, for the transgression of my people was he stricken.-Isaiah liii. 8.
HERE the Prophet presents us with another sketch, which so exactly corresponds with many features in the sufferings of Jesus, that we cannot well mistake, if we consider him as the person intended. What supinness do we behold in the cause of truth, how faint are the exertions to promote the Glory of God, to whom are we indebted for all spiritual and temporal blessings. Surely, the disciples of Christ, in every age, must blush to compare their want of zeal for their Master's Glory, with the ardour and unwearied perseverance displayed by the adversaries of the Lord. What exertion and determination of purpose, is discoverable in the persecutors of Jesus. If they cannot accomplish their object in one way, they attempt it in another. If Annas or Caiaphas have not the power (Judea being under the Roman yoke) to
execute Jesus, his enemies, nothing daunted, try Pilate and Herod, from whose tribunal, the innocent sufferer is again conveyed back to the Judgment Hall of Pilate, and eventually to Calvary. Thus was the blessed Jesus led bound by his insulting persecutors, from place to place, and compelled to walk many a wearisome mile, surrounded by an incensed rabble, who thirsted for his blood. He was, indeed, taken from prison and from judgment, but, who shall declare his generation. We may trace his journeys and count the number of his years on earth; but, we cannot name the period of time, when he first began his existence; for he existed as God, from everlasting to everlasting.* We hear the Jews saying "As for this fellow, we know not whence he is.” As man, we see him cut off out of the land of the living. And the Prophets and Apostles, all join in stating, that it was "for the transgressions of his people, he was stricken." They again and again repeat the same sentiment. We are not left with a solitary proof or two, on a subject of so much importance; but it is written as with a sunbeam, throughout the whole canon of scripture. We should never
*Romans xix. 5. Hebrews xiii. 8.