The Lord Jesus Christ “hath done great things for us, whereof we are glad” (Psalm 126:3).
And what has He done?
In the first place, beloved, let us direct our attention to His covenant engagements. My mind feels solemnly awed as I reflect upon the subject before we enter upon it.
The covenant engagement of the immortal Word!
Never was such an engagement entered upon before.
What was it?
Christ engaged in covenant council with the Father (for the covenant was between them both) to raise the objects of the Father’s love from their state of sin, guilt and condemnation, to deliver them from the curse of the law and the wrath of God, to bring them from all their degradation, and shame, and wretchedness, and to present them without blemish before the Father’s glorious presence, “with joys divinely great.”
The covenant engagement of our dear Redeemer, O, it is a blessed, cheering, gladdening doctrine in the midst of affliction and trial. You remember how it sustained David’s heart: “Though my house be not so with God (as I could wish), yet He hath made with me an everlasting covenant, ordered in all things and sure.” (2 Samuel 23:5)
He saw the covenant Head, and it gladdened his heart many a time.
And has it not gladdened my heart, has it not rejoiced my soul, and yours too, brethren, to see that the cause of the church is in such glorious, noble and powerful hands as in those of the dear Redeemer?
Surely it has. It cannot be in better hands. May we say feelingly with the apostle, “I know whom I have believed” – Christ, our covenant Head; and in His covenant engagement.
“He is able to keep that which I have committed unto Him against that day.”
(2 Timothy 1:2)
But, secondly, the Lord Jesus Christ “hath done great things for us, whereof we are glad” (Psalm 126:3).
Behold the greatness of His condescension and humiliation in His incarnation. He had a glory with the Father before the world was; but at the appointed time He threw
His glory by and descended from the shining courts of bliss and
blessedness. The apostle contrasts the humiliation and exaltation of
Christ in these memorable words: “Let this mind be in you which
was also in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 2:5).
That text applies most gloriously to Christ: “Before honour is humility” (Proverbs 15:33; Proverbs 18:12).
“He was rich” – the Most High God, possessor of the heavens and the earth – yet for our sakes became poor, that we, through His poverty, might be made rich (2 Corinthians 8:9).
There was an absolute necessity for the incarnation of Jesus.
Whence did that necessity arise?
God’s just and holy law had been violated and trampled on in human nature, and it was necessary that sin should be punished and condemned and law and justice satisfied in the very nature in which it had been violated.
Forasmuch as His brethren “were partakers of flesh and blood, He also Himself took part of the same; that through death He might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil” (Hebrws 2:14).
So, my friends, the incarnation of Christ is a doctrine which gladdened the hearts of thousands now in glory.
It does mine also; and does it not yours?
“is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners,” (1 Timothy 1:15) even the chief.
We believe the doctrine, and not only believe it; it is the joy and rejoicing of our souls. Reason upon it for a moment experimentally.
If the Holy Ghost dwells in your hearts, you know and feel that you are poor sinners; you are sick of yourselves, your sinfulness and vileness.
You have tried to save yourselves, but you could not. Has it never cheered and gladdened your heart to behold by faith, according to God’s Word, the condescension of the immortal Word in consenting to become flesh, that He might suffer, bleed and die for our sins, and bring us rebels to God?
And what gladness this must always be to the souls of the Lord’s coming family.
By John Kershaw