Page images

voluntarily pouring out his soul unto death.* He had power to lay down his life, and power to take it again, but no man had power to take it from him. He laid it down of himself. Therefore, God will "Divide him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong." The Man Jesus, now sits on the throne of Deity, and humanity participates in all the honours paid to the second Person in the Glorious Trinity. As he was openly put to shame on earth, is it not right that he should here also be publicly rewarded? Satan, who so long had reigned prince of this world, is now a conquered tyrant, his empire is weakened, for Jesus has spoiled the principalities and powers of darkness; and he will for one thousand years confine this destroyer of our race, a captive in the bottomless pit. In that bright day of millennial glory, all shall know the Lord, and every tongue shall call our Emmanuel blessed; and he shall reign a triumphant King over earth's remotest bounds.

Ephesians i. 20-22.

+ Revelations xx. 2, 3.


He keepeth all his bones, not one of them is broken.Psalm xxxiv. 20.

THE soldiers (at the request of the Jews, and the command of Pilate) go forth to execute their last act of cruelty on Jesus and his companions, having broken the legs of the two malefactors, approach the body of Jesus, but here they pause, hesitate, retire, and leave his bones unbroken. Whence this mark of respect, toward the object of their scorn and abhorrence ? Why did not those voices, which a few hours before rent the air with cries of "Crucify him, crucify him," now urge the soldiers to commit the same act of violence on the body of the dead, though despised Nazarene. To what cause must we attribute this act of forbearance, on the part of the by-standers as well as soldiers? Surely, to none other than the over-ruling Providence of God. He who has the hearts of all men at his disposal, watched over the body of Jesus, and preserved it from that act of violence, "He kept all his bones, not one of them was broken." How exactly was the prophecy fulfilled! How striking a resemblance does the original bear to the portrait! The

Lamb slain at the Passover, was intended to exhibit to ancient Israel a crucified Saviour. Of that typical Lamb, Jehovah expressly commanded, "A bore should not be broken." Though the whole of the flesh was to be consumed, yet not a bone was to be injured.* Does not that solemn Jewish sacrifice, point us to Jesus, the "Lamb of God, whose blood is able to cleanse from all sin ;"t and applied by the Spirit, will " purge the conscience from dead works,

to serve the living and true God."


And they shall look upon me whom they have pierced.— Zechariah xii. 10.

ONE of the soldiers, with a spear, pierced the side of Jesus, and forthwith came thereout blood and water. "He that saw it bare record, and his record is true" And we know that he saith true, that ye might believe, that it is Jesus of whom the scripture saith, they "Shall look on him whom they have pierced." There is another and higher use to be

[blocks in formation]

made of this circumstance. Simple as the fact at first sight may appear, yet it is the strongest proof of the death of Jesus. If only blood had issued from the wound, it would prove comparatively little. But, water was also seen to flow from the side; which was either the small quantity of water inclosed in the pericardium, in which the heart swims, or else the cruor was almost coagulated and separated from the serum. If it is to be attributed to the latter cause, it confirms what the evangelist relates; that Jesus had been some time dead. But, if we place it to the former, it is utterly impossible Jesus could have survived the wound, even if given in perfect health. In either case, it effectually proves his death. Not a reasonable doubt can remain to suppose he was taken alive from the cross. May the act of the soldier, (wanton and cruel as it certainly was,) convince the infidel, that Jesus was not taken from the cross before life was quite extinct; and may he be led to look on him "whom he has pierced, and mourn." Blessed Jesus, may we often meditate on those awful scenes, when the rugged thorn pierced thy sacred temples, the nails thy hands and feet, the spear thy side, and the wrath of God thy soul. And, while we eye thee as the just suffering for the unjust, may we learn to ab

hor sin, which is so hateful in the sight of a pure and Holy God, that the blood of his own well-beloved Son was shed ere it could be pardoned. Is not the view of a suffering Redeemer calculated to raise the Christian's confidence, even in seasons of the deepest affliction?* May he not fearlessly resign his spiritual and temporal concerns, his fondest hopes and most anxious cares, to the guidance and wisdom of him, who so loved him as to die for him? For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life."


I clothe the heavens with blackness, and I make sackcloth their covering.-Isaiah 1. 3.

ISAIAH, or, as he is generally called, the Evangelical Prophet, (from his writings referring more frequently to the person and offices of Christ, than those of the other prophets,) when speaking of his sufferings declares, that "The heavens shall become black as

*Romans viii. 32. ·

« PreviousContinue »