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was God's Son, we have evidence that he was God over all, and blessed for evermore. Let us learn from this extraordinary combination the excellence and glory of that atonement made once for all for us. We had sinned, therefore humanity must suffer ; but God cannot suffer, therefore God became man and suffered. But man cannot satisfy: no man can satisfy for himself, much less for a world. Jesus was God, and satisfied ; while he suffered the penalty, he exhausted it. His power to satisfy was equal to his capacity to suffer ; and by his suffering, which we cannot describe, and by his satisfaction, which we cannot measure, there was made for us a perfect atonement, by which we are delivered from the wrath to come. It is through him, and because of him, literally true, " There is no condemnation to them that are in Christ Jesus ;" there is no wrath to any one that flees to him for refuge. As soon might the pursuer of old kill the manslayer in the city of refuge, which would have been a heinous crime, as wrath touch a hair of the head of that believing soul that has fled to Christ for deliverance and a shelter from the wrath to come.
We read that this Saviour who died for us as man, who satisfied for us as God, is now in heaven : “to wait for his Son from heaven.” He was raised from the dead ; he ascended into heaven; he sitteth at the right hand of God the Father. Christ's ascension into heaven was just as necessary as Christ's sacrifice upon earth. What he purchased on his cross he applies from his throne. By his death he made it possible for me to be forgiven ; by his reign upon the throne, he makes me willing to be forgiven. What he purchased on his cross as a sacrifice, he bestows from his throne as King
of kings and Lord of lords. If Christ had never died, my forgiveness would have been impossible; if Christ had never risen an intercessor in heaven, the application of that forgiveness could never be fact. But now he sends his Holy Spirit to persuade me of his excellence--to convince me of the perfection of his sacrifice -to induce me to believe in his blessed name, and to lay hold upon his glorious sacrifice, and to enjoy all the happiness of pardon and peace through him.
We also read that, whilst he died upon the earth a sacrifice—whilst he now sits in heaven an intercessorhe will come again at the end of this age : "to wait for his Son from heaven;" he is not there for ever. He will leave the throne, come down to earth, no longer the Man of Sorrows, to make actual the prophecy of the 53d chapter of Isaiah, but as the King of kings and Lord of lords, to take to himself the kingdom he has purchased, and to make visibly his own those precious souls that will be the monuments of his love, and the trophies of his grace, through endless ages to come.
We have in the whole of this a very remarkable fulfilment of a great type,—that of the ancient high priest. The high priest of old first of all offered sacrifice upon the brazen altar without; after he had offered the sacrifice he went into the holy of holies, and there, by the golden altar, he made intercession mingled with incense from the golden censer; whilst the high priest was in the holy of holies making intercession for the people, all God's ancient people were standing outside raiting for the high priest to come out, and lift up his nds, and pronounce a blessing upon all the tribes of
el. This exactly corresponds to the position of our ,h Priest. As the ancient high priest offered the sacrifice without, and finished it, Jesus offered one sacrifice once for all for the sins of all that believe eighteen hundred and twenty years ago. Secondly, as the high priest when he had finished the atonement went into the holy of holies, bearing the names of the tribes upon his breastplate, with the golden censer, burning incense and making intercession; so Jesus, after he had completed the atonement on earth, outside, ascended into heaven, the true holy place, not made with hands, where he now liveth to make intercession for us. As the Israelites, while the high priest was in the holy of holies interceding, were standing without, waiting for the high priest to come out and bless them; 80 now we Christians, who believe in our Great High Priest, are at this moment waiting for the Son of God from heaven, who has been raised from the dead, and who has delivered us from the wrath to come. Our position, therefore, is that of waiting, for the egress of the High Priest, to pronounce that blessing that will go down into nature's depths, that will shoot up into creation's heights; that will cast out all that offends, and restore to the wilderness the fragrance of the rose, and to the desert all the glory and the riches of Eden. It is, therefore, a very interesting fact, that the position of every Christian is that of waiting ; not for his death, not for heaven, but for the High Priest to come out and to pronounce the blessing upon us and all ours. If we be waiting for our Great High Priest to come out, it implies that we love him. Love seeks the nearness of and communion with the object on which it is centred. Hence the apostle tells us, “Whom having not seen we love ; in whom though now we see him not,” for he is in the holy place, " yet believing,” which
is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen, “we rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory.”
If we are waiting for him, we believe the promise that he will come forth to us. Repeatedly throughout the New Testament we read, “ To them that look for him will be come the second time without sin unto salvation.” Hence he says himself, “I will not leave you comfortless; I will come to you.” Hence the promise of the angels, “That same Jesus who is taken up from you into heaven shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go.” Such are some of the promises of the second advent. Now every true Christian who waits for his advent accepts that promise. But if we are waiting for the fulfilment of this promise, we shall pray for it. It may be said,—How can our prayers hasten a fixed thing, or alter a chronology settled from everlasting ages? We cannot explain the metaphysics of prayer, but we can understand the duty and the privilege of prayer. No sooner had Christ gone into heaven, than his beloved Church began to pray,“ Come, Lord Jesus ;” and the petition became intenser the longer that it lasted, “Come, Lord Jesus, come quickly;" and "at last, to comfort the waiting and the longing Church, the answer came down from heaven, “Behold I come quickly.” And therefore to pray for it is a duty and a privilege, which we will cherish, whilst we may not be able to understand how the prayers of the Church can hasten the accomplishment of what is absolutely fixed.
This prospect of and waiting for the advent of our blessed Lord is great comfort in affliction. The darkest night must have a morning; the most stormy tempest must have an end ; the troubles that afflict the just may be many, but they are transient and temporary. Hence the consolation addressed to God's people, “ Lift up your heads, for your redemption draweth nigh ;” hence the comfort given by James to sufferers, “The coming of the Lord draweth nigh.” And hence the ancient Church cheered itself and sustained its heart in the bitterest persecutions by this conviction : “They will last only for a little, they will soon be finished ; and the advent of Him, whose right it is to reign, will cheer, and comfort, and crown us.” If we are waiting for the coming of the Son of God from heaven, we shall cherish the hope of it. Faith is founded upon a truth revealed ; hope is based upon a promise of good that is to be enjoyed. What God has said, we believe ; what God has promised, we hope for. Hence faith sustains in the path of duty, hope cheers in the expectation of the future. Christ's coming from heaven is the subject of hope. Hence we read, “The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ teacheth us to deny ungodliness and worldly lusts, and to live soberly, and righteously, and godly, in this present world ; looking for that blessed hope, the glorious appearing of Jesus Christ, our great God and Saviour, who loved us, and gave himself for us.”
“What may we expect when Christ comes? Why should we thus prayerfully, hopefully, joyfully, patiently, wait for Christ's advent? When he comes, all creation will be delivered from its thraldom; Satan, the great usurper of the kingdom, will be cast out; the joy and happiness of God's own will be completed, and every desert on the earth shall rejoice, and every solitary place shall blossom even as the rose. We look for it, and wait for it, because at his advent the sons of God,