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E times be called man, and sometimes God. He is called one or the other in the Scriptures, according to the subject of discourse. If the subject be his humanity, he is called man, or the Son of man. If the subject Į be his divinity, he is called God, or Son of God, or by some name, or in some way expressive of his divine nature. The apostle Paul, in his address to the rulers of the synagogue at a certain time, says, "Be it known unto you, therefore, men and brethren, that through this man is preached unto you the forgiveness of sins." He had just before spoken of his crucifixion and resurrection. As he had been speaking of him in respect to his human nature, it was proper and natural to continue to speak of him in respect to the same nature, till he had closed this subject of his discourse. Besides, it was through the sufferings of Christ that the forgiveness of sin is made possible. In another place, the same apostle says, "He has appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man, whom he hath ordained." In connexion with this, he spoke of his human nature; of the resurrection of his body. It was natural therefore to speak of him in this connexion by the name, or in the character of a man. Again he says, "For since by man came death, by man also came the resurrection of the dead." The same observations apply to this text. The apostle had been speaking of the resurrection of Christ's body, and was contrasting him with Adam. It was correct, therefore, to continue to speak of him, in that connexion, as a man. When he is exhibited in connexion with his work of creation, he is called God. When it is said he will raise the dead, he is called the Son of God. When he is contrasted with angels, and his vast superiority is set forth, he was addressed by the divine title, O God; a title significant of the nature, in which he had just been represented; and in which he was so much superior to the angels. If Christ be both human and divine, these observations shew the propriety of exhibiting
him sometimes in one nature and sometimes in the other. The connexion between the son of man and the Son of God, is so intimate that the name and properties of one are sometimes applied to the other. "The second man is the Lord from heaven." Here the humanity of Christ is called the Lord from heaven. "Feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood." In this text, human blood is called the blood of God. "Which none of the princes of this world know, for had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory," 1 Cor. 2:8. In this text the tortures of the cross are applied to the Lord of glory, the divine nature of Jesus Christ. By this phraseology we are not to understand that the divinity of Christ suffered pain; but we are to understand the intimate connexion between his two natures. This kind of phraseology is not uncommon. We say, a man dies, when we only mean that his body suffers dissolution. We say, man will live for ever, when we only mean that his soul will never see death.
Jesus Christ, in his mediatorial office on earth, suffered deep humiliation of his divine nature, and extreme torture of his humanity. The Son of God not only took upon him human nature, but he took it in the form of a servant. He made himself of no reputation. He suffered the scorn and reproach of the wicked. The gracious miracles, which he wrought by his own divine power, were attributed to the operation of the evil spirit. The prayer, which he made to the Father to glorify him, with that glory which he had with him before the world was, implies that he was divested of his glory for a season, and that he was in a state of humiliation. So intimate was the union of his two natures, that all the ignominy which was directed against his human nature, extended to his divinity. He endured extreme suffering in his human nature. He was grieved for the hardness of the human heart. He wept over Jerusalem, when he beheld her approaching destruction, He was
touched with a feeling of our infirmities. He suffered the temptations of the great adversary, and the persecutions of those, whom he came to save. In the near approach of his crucifixion, when the tortures of the cross presented themselves to his mind, he almost recoiled at the prospect. He sweat, as it were, great drops of blood, and prayed that if it were possible the cup of suffering might pass from him. When he was suspended upon the fatal wood, and the Father withdrew his consoling presence, he exclaimed in the anguish of his soul, "My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?"
Jesus Christ, by his humiliation and suffering, became fully qualified for the work of his mediatorial office. "Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered. And being made perfect, he became the Author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him. It became him, for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the Captain of their salvation perfect through suffering," Hebrews 5:8, 9; and 2:10. By these declarations of the apostle we are not to understand that there was any imperfection in his nature, which was removed by his suffering; or that he was more perfect in his nature after, than he was before, his humiliation. But the things which he suffered, were a necessary qualification for his mediatorial office. The act of consecration was necessary under the law, to perfect men for the priest's office. But this act added nothing to their natural qualifications. So the sufferings of Christ were a necessary preparation for his mediatorial office; but made no addition to the perfection of his nature. Was there no Mediator then before the humiliation and sufferings of Jesus Christ? His mediation was then efficacious for man, and acceptable 1 to the Father, by virtue and in view of his abasement,
and the shedding of his blood, which were to take place. Saints, before the incarnation of the Son of
God, were saved by faith in a Savior to come; and the Son of God was an effectual Savior, during that period, by virtue of that sacrifice which he was to make.
The union of divine and human nature, the sufferings of the one, and the humiliation of the other, appear to be revealed truths; and they appear to be necessary qualifications for a Mediator between God and man. Were the Mediator only divine, one party only would be literally represented. He could not be touched with the feeling of human infirmities. He could not have a personal sympathy for suffering humanity. Nor could he feel what allowance ought to be made for the weakness of human nature. He could not suffer the penalty of the law for sin; and by suffering magnify and honor it. Condescension and concession would appear to be only on the part of Deity. On the other hand, if the Mediator were only of a human or created nature, one party only would be literally represented. It is not probable he would have an adequate knowledge of all the rights and prerogatives of divine authority; at least, he could not have a feeling sense of them. He could do no more than his own personal duty. He could have no surplus of merit, which he could transfer to the destitute. He could make no expiation for sin; and without expiation, every instance of pardon would dishonor the divine law, and weaken divine authority. But by the union of the Son of God with the Son of
man, both these difficulties are removed. Both parties are literally represented. Satisfaction can be made to the violated law of God; and the Father can be just while he justifies penitent sinners. In this method, "Mercy and truth are met together; righteousness and peace have kissed each other," Ps. 85:10. If a whole nation had revolted from their legal sovereign, what individual would be suitable to mediate between the parties to produce reconciliation? Would the King's son alone be suitable for the undertaking? However wise and virtuous, and benevolent he might be, would he alone probably accomplish the object?
Would not rebels view him with a jealous eye? Would an individual of the nation, one, who had not fallen into the same transgression, be suitable to mediate between the parties? However wise and virtuous he might be in his private capacity, would he have an adequate knowledge of the rights of his sovereign; and would he feel a suitable interest in the support and honor of his throne? Would he have adequate weight of character, either in the sight of his nation or of his sovereign, to produce reconciliation between them? Let him unite with the King's Son, in the work of mediation; and the plan appears more reasonable, and more probable of success. The application, in some important respects, cannot be misunderstood.
The man Christ Jesus, after his resurrection, received great honor and authority. He had endured extreme ignominy and suffering. But for the joy that was set before him, he endured the cross, despised the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God. Like other men, he had human feelings, and was actuated by a hope of reward. Many passages of sacred scripture represent the honor, or exaltation, which he received after his resurrection; and some of them represent it to be a consequence, or reward of his sufferings. "After the Lord had spoken unto them, he was received up into heaven, and sat on the right hand of God," Mark 16:19. "Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places; far above all principality and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come," Eph. 1:20, 21. "When he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high," Heb. 1:3. "Him hath God exalted with his right hand, to be a Prince and a Savior," Acts 5:31. "He humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name, which is above every name;