THE PERSON OF CHRIST
“You are fairer than the children of men.” Psalm 45: 2
“My meditation of him shall be sweet.” Psalm 104: 34
Before we dwell on the melting story of Calvary, or exhibit to you a crucified Savior, or afford a display of his glorious atonement, let us advert to the divine person and character of our Immanuel. Let us admire his glorious perfections. A saving knowledge of Christ will constitute the foundation of our immortal joys; will lead us to eternal life, and the highest state of felicity in heaven above. “And this is life; eternal, that they might know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent.”
O, that we might obtain a glimpse of the matchless person of Christ! O, that we might behold “the King, in his beauty.” Surely then would our sight and eyes be turned away from viewing vanity. If there is an object in the universe that should attract our attention, excite our admiration, warm our affections, and demand our love; surely it is the glorious Savior, the blessed Son of God, who is the brightness of his Father’s glory, and the express image of his person. Christ is the most glorious being in the universe of God. Blessed Jesus! reveal yourself unto us in all your transcendent loveliness, in all your surpassing beauty.
“You are fairer than the children of men;” “the chief among ten thousand;” “yes, you are altogether lovely;” “you are the blooming rose of Sharon, and the lily of the valleys.” Manifest yourself unto us as you do not unto the world. Gladden our guilty souls with the beams of your mercy and grace. Unfurl the banner of your wondrous love over us; encircle us in the arms of your compassion, and lift upon us the light of your gracious countenance.
We can know but little, comparatively, of the excellence and glory of Christ’s person, until we see him on his heavenly throne, in all his unveiled glory. Then shall we see him as he is, face to face, and forever behold his matchless beauty. What a glorious sight will that be, to see the Redeemer shining in the perfection of beauty. What a blessed privilege, to dwell forever in the presence of the great King, to surround the radiant throne of heaven, and amid the splendors of the celestial Paradise, to sound through endless ages the notes of seraphic praise, to him that redeemed us from eternal misery with his own most precious blood!
Gentle reader, seek Christ now; believe on him; view him with the eye of faith, as your only Lord and Savior, and in a little while faith shall be turned into sight, into heavenly vision, and you will enjoy the presence and society of your beloved Redeemer throughout a glorious eternity. Remember, young reader, that Christ has said “those that seek me early shall find me.” May the Lord in his mercy grant that you and I may find Him of whom Moses and the prophets wrote– Jesus, the Son of God. This will prove our everlasting comfort. Through time and through eternity, Christ will be our unchanging friend.
To the believer, Christ is all in all. Amid all the vacillating scenes and heart-rending sorrows of mortality, he is ever with him, manifesting his grace and sustaining him in every trial; and in the last hour of mortal existence, when the believer is standing on the verge of the grave, Christ is by him, cheering his departing soul with the hope of eternal glory”, and guiding him safely through the swellings of Jordan to the promised land, the everlasting happy home of God’s children. In the hour of death, the believer is enabled to exclaim, “Oh! I would not give up Christ for all the world. Whom have I in heaven but you? and there is none upon earth that I desire besides you.”
Now, is Christ precious to you? Do you desire to know more and more about him? Is he formed in you, the hope of glory? If so, we trust you will follow us with a joyful heart in our presentation of his character and excellence as they are vividly portrayed in the Holy Scriptures. That blessed Redeemer who once hung as a bleeding victim on Calvary; who endured the death of the cross there, is the eternal Son of God, equal with the Father in power and glory, possessing all the attributes of Deity.
The Scriptures plainly assert that Christ is God, the Creator of the universe. “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.” Christ bears the very image of the everlasting Father. Yes, the eternal Son of God, our blessed Savior, is the brightness of his Father’s glory, and the express image of his person. “The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. After he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven.”
Again, it is declared that “Christ is the visible image of the invisible God. He existed before God made anything at all and is supreme over all creation. Christ is the one through whom God created everything in heaven and earth. He made the things we can see and the things we can’t see—kings, kingdoms, rulers, and authorities. Everything has been created through him and for him. He existed before everything else began, and he holds all creation together. Christ is the head of the church, which is his body. He is the first of all who will rise from the dead, so he is first in everything. For God in all his fullness was pleased to live in Christ.”
What a fullness of grace and glory dwells in the blessed Jesus! And what divine power has he displayed in the works of creation! By his word, were all things made. He spoke and it was done; he commanded, and it stood fast. He only gave the command, and this world, with all its inhabitants, sprung into being. Such is his illimitable power, that he has created and sustained for ages, millions of fixed and moving worlds of light and glory. With unerring precision, he guides the planets in their revolutions, and directs the comets in their flaming march. With an arm of omnipotence, he has bespangled the midnight sky with its glowing luminaries; and that same mysterious personage who endured the ignominious death of Calvary, has created this beautiful, green earth on which we tread; formed the moon in her silvery brightness, and kindled up the sun in all his glory. “By the word of the Lord, were the heavens made; and all the host of them by the breath of his mouth.” He has “measured the waters in the hollow of his hand, and meted out heaven with a span, and determined the dust of the earth in a measure, and weighed the mountains in scales, and the hills in a balance.”
Christ is the second person in the glorious Trinity, and is of equal power with God the Father, and God the Spirit. Yes he “thought it not robbery to be equal with God,” and as the Creator of the universe, he reigns, the omnipotent Lord of heaven and earth. All power is entrusted to him, and all worlds are the offspring of his almighty fiat, the product of his creative skill. This is the same blessed Savior who bled and died on earth. “He alone has spread out the heavens and marches on the waves of the sea. He made all the stars—the Bear, Orion, the Pleiades, and the constellations of the southern sky. His great works are too marvelous to understand. He performs miracles without number.”
Christian, go out and gaze upon the clear, blue sky, when the solemn stillness of night pervades a slumbering world; survey the countless glories of the starry firmament; view the numberless suns that shine above you; think of the innumerable planets that revolve around these suns; contemplate the mighty systems of worlds that move in celestial harmony and majesty through boundless space. Your Savior made them all.
Then think of his power, wisdom, and goodness as manifested in all his works. Think of his original glory and blessedness; but above all, think of his amazing condescension and infinite love for you. He who hung out these brilliant orbs, once stooped from his celestial throne of glory to assume human nature, and bleed and die for you! yes, to die the death of the cross! “He made himself nothing; he took the humble position of a slave and appeared in human form. And in human form he obediently humbled himself even further by dying a criminal’s death on a cross.” Wonderful condescension. Amazing love! Was there ever love like this, that led Christ to Calvary, there to lay down his precious life for sinners! No! the annals of time do not furnish a parallel; neither is it to be found in the records of eternity!
Christ, the only begotten Son of God, lay in the bosom of the Father from all eternity; possessing untold glory with him. But out of infinite compassion and boundless love for his children, his redeemed, he consented, for a time, to veil that glory in humanity, and bleed upon the accursed tree. He became partaker of flesh and blood. “Because God’s children are human beings—made of flesh and blood—Jesus also became flesh and blood by being born in human form. For only as a human being could he die, and only by dying could he break the power of the Devil, who had the power of death.”
He gave his blessed body to be broken, and his precious blood to be shed for sinners. For you, dear believer, did the Lord of glory suffer. That he might redeem you from the curse of a broken law, and thus rescue you from eternal misery in the regions of darkness and despair, he assumed your nature. “We all know that Jesus came to help the descendants of Abraham, not to help the angels. Therefore, it was necessary for Jesus to be in every respect like us, his brothers and sisters, so that he could be our merciful and faithful High Priest before God. He then could offer a sacrifice that would take away the sins of the people.”
In Christ, the divine and human natures are admirably united in one glorious person. He is truly God and truly man. He is our Creator, our Preserver, our bountiful Benefactor; and yet he is bone of our bone and flesh of our flesh. He is our near kinsman; our elder brother; our gracious friend, who loves at all times; our glorious Redeemer.
In our nature, Christ suffered and died for us; in our nature he rose triumphant from the grave; and he now wears it before the throne of God. O how highly has Christ exalted human nature! He has elevated it to the right hand of God, to the greatest honors and the brightest state of felicity in the heaven of heavens. In glory, the redeemed shall be made like Christ; their bodies shall shine like his glorious body. Says an Apostle, “we know that when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.” At his glorious appearing on the resurrection morning, Christ shall call forth our sleeping dust. “He will take these weak mortal bodies of ours and change them into glorious bodies like his own, using the same mighty power that he will use to conquer everything, everywhere.”
Then shall we be with him, and be entirely like him to all eternity. Then shall we see him face to face in his heavenly kingdom, yes, we shall look into the very face of the blessed Jesus, and behold in that countenance the expressions of tenderest love for us, his redeemed. Then shall we see what a lovely Savior we have! And through eternal ages we shall be contemplating the glorious person of our Redeemer. Then shall we discern those excellencies in the person of Christ, which are now obscured by the veil of mortality. “Now we see things imperfectly as in a poor mirror, but then we will see everything with perfect clarity. All that I know now is partial and incomplete, but then I will know everything completely, just as God knows me now.”
Precious Savior! Your name is as ointment poured forth. You are all our salvation and desire. We love you, because you have first loved us. Whom have we in heaven but you, and there is none upon earth that we desire besides you. You are our way to the Father, the way in which the redeemed journey through a wilderness world to the heavenly Canaan. You are the blessed day-star which illuminates our path through a bewildering world, and guides it safely over life’s tempestuous ocean into the harbor of eternal glory. Blessed Redeemer, may I love and prize you more and more on earth, until, prepared for those happy mansions above, I bid adieu to this sinful, sorrowful world, enter into the joy of my Lord, and raise a never-ending song of praise in glory to you my Almighty Savior.
“Almighty Jesus, make me thine;
Oh! wash me in your blood divine,
Preserve my soul from every sin,
And reign the sovereign Lord within.
Oh! for a heart of faith and love,
To taste the Savior’s richest grace,
To emulate the choirs above,
Who ever see his blissful face.
Blest spirit! beautify my soul
With humble joy and holy fear;
Your power can make the wounded whole,
And bring each gospel blessing near.
Descend and dwell within my heart;
The Savior’s image let us bear;
Then bid me hence with joy depart,
And angels’ bliss forever share.”