Steadfastly fixed on Him. If anything can awake astonishment, and inflame our gratitude, it must be that mystery of love, God manifested in our nature, and made man, to bleed and die for our salvation.
That He should condescend to be sold for thirty shekels of silver; to be apprehended and condemned as a malefactor; to be crowned with piercing thorns; to be scourged at the bloody pillar; to bear His cross; to be numbered with transgressors; to be reviled by rufianly soldiers, and a merciless populace; to be torn with tormenting nails; and pierced with a hostile spear; and suspended on the ignominious tree, between heaven and earth, as unworthy of either, though He was the maker and preserver of both.
What thought can reach, what tongue can tell, the infinite riches of His love to man, that induced Him freely to undergo all this, only to make him happy! Nay, He not only freely underwent it, but even longed for the time of His crucifixion to come — “I have a baptism”, says He, a baptism of sufferings “to be baptized with; and how am I straitened till it be accomplished?” (Luke 12:50).
Steadfastly Fixed on Him
How should these considerations engage us, who are His purchased flock, to trust in His atonement, and to honour Him with our lips and in our lives? “Wherefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the apostle and high priest of our profession, Christ Jesus” (Hebrews 3:1).
Keep your mind steadfastly fixed on Him, who is the Messenger of the covenant of grace, and the executor of its conditions. He did not appear in this lower world barely to reveal the gospel, for that could have been done at an easier expense than His incarnation and death. Any angel could have proclaimed it, or prophets declared the same, as indeed the prophets did for “to Him give all the prophets witness” (Acts 10:43). But Christ came to procure forgiveness, and to suffer, and obey, for the salvation of the elect people of God.
Nothing but this could warrant the extreme depth of His humiliation, or comport with the essential dignity of His person, who was to sanctify His people with His own blood, and offering up of Himself, once for all, and by ever living to intercede for them. Openly then profess, confess and acknowledge Him in the face of an opposing world.
Render to Him the thanks of your heart for His great humility, for His perfect righteousness, for His complete propitiation, for His perpetual intercession, and for the whole of His redeeming grace. Let us never forget, that through the covenant mercy of God, the righteousness of Christ was admitted as our payment; that Christ’s sufferings were our ransom; and the whole of His obedience unto death, is our free, full, and final discharge from punishment.
These considerations received by faith, will cause us to rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory; they will put a new song into our mouths, even thanksgiving unto God, and make us sing. “O death, where is thy sting! O grave, where is thy victory!” (1 Corinthians 15:55).