Consider the Apostle and High Priest of our profession, Christ Jesus
When a traveller passes
very rapidly through a country, the eye has no time to rest upon the
different objects in it, so that, when he comes to the end of his journey,
no distinct impressions have been made upon his mind, he has only a
confused notion of the country through which he has travelled.
This explains how it is
that death, judgment, eternity, make so little impression upon most men's
minds. Most people never stop to think, but hurry on through life, and
find themselves in eternity before they have once put the question, What
must I do to be saved?" More souls are lost through want of consideration
than in any other way.
The reason why men are
not awakened and made anxious for their souls is, that the devil never
gives them time to consider. Therefore God cries, Stop, poor sinner, stop
and think. Consider your ways. "Oh that you were wise, that you understood
this, that you considered your latter end!" And, again He cries, "Israel
doth not know, my people doth not consider."
In the same way does
the devil try to make the children of God doubt if there be a
He hurries them away to the shop and market. Lose no time, he says, but
make money. Therefore God cries, Stop, poor sinner, stop and think; and
Jesus says, "Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; consider the
ravens, which have neither storehouse nor barn."
In the same way does
the devil try to make the children of God live uncomfortable and unholy
lives. He beguiles them away from simply looking to Jesus: he hurries them
away to look at a thousand other things, as he led Peter, walking on the
sea, to look round at the waves. But God says, Look here, consider the
Apostle and High Priest of your profession; look unto me and be ye saved;
run your race, looking unto Jesus; consider Christ, the same yesterday,
to-day, and for ever.
I. Believers should
live in daily consideration of the greatness and glory of Christ.
(1.) There was once a
time when time was not, when there was no earth, neither sun, nor moon,
nor star; a time when you might have wandered through all space, and never
found a resting-place to the sole of your foot, when you would have
found no creatures anywhere, but God everywhere, when there were no
angels with golden harps hymning celestial praises, but God alone was all
Ques. Where was Jesus then? Ans. He was with God. "In
the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God.
He was near to God, and in perfect happiness there. "The Lord possessed me
in the beginning of his way, before his works of old. Then I was by Him as
one brought up with Him; and I was daily his delight, rejoicing always
before Him." He was in the bosom of God: "The only-begotten Son which is
in the bosom of the Father." He was in perfect glory there: "Father,
glorify Thou me with thyself, with the glory which I had with thee before
the world was!"
Ques. What was Jesus then? Ans. He was God. The Word was
with God, and "was God." He was equal with the Father. "He thought it no
robbery to be equal with God." He was rich. "He was the brightness of his
Father's glory, and the express image of his person."
brethren, could I lift you away to that time when God was alone from all
eternity; could I have shown you the glory of Jesus then, how He dwelt
in the bosom of the Father, and was daily his delight; and could I have
told you, "That is the glorious Being who is to undertake the cause of
poor lost sinners, that is He who is going to put himself in their room
and stead, to suffer all they should suffer, and obey all they should
obey, consider Jesus, look long and earnestly, weigh every consideration
in the balance of the soundest judgment, consider his rank, his
nearness, his dearness to God the Father, consider his power, his glory,
his equality to God the Father in everything, consider, and say do you
think you would entrust your case to Him? do you think He would be a
sufficient Saviour?" oh, brethren, would not every soul cry out. He is
enough I want no other Saviour?
Again, there was a time when this world sprang into being, when the sun
began to shine, and earth and seas began to smile. There was a time when
myriads of happy angels springing into being, first spread their wings,
doing his commandments, when the morning stars sang together, and all
the sons of God shouted for joy.
Ques. What was Jesus doing then? Ans. Without Him was
not anything made that was made." "By Him were all things created that are
in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be
thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were
created by Him and for Him." Oh, brethren, could I lift you away back to
that wonderful day, and show you Jesus calling all the angels into being,
hanging the earth upon nothing; could you have heard the voice of Jesus
saying, "Let there be light, and there was light;" and could I have told
you, "That is He who is yet to undertake for sinners; consider Him, and
see if you think He will be a sufficient Saviour; look long and
earnestly;" good news, good news for sinners, if this mighty Being
undertake for us! I can as little doubt the sureness and completeness of
my salvation as I can doubt the sureness of the solid earth beneath my
But the work of creation is long since passed. Jesus has been upon our
earth. And now He is not here He is risen. Eighteen hundred years and
more have passed since Christ was upon the earth.
Ques. Where is Jesus now? Ans. "He is set down at the
right hand of the Majesty on high." He is upon the throne with God in his
glorified body, and his throne is for ever. A sceptre is put into his hand
a sceptre of righteousness, and the oil of gladness is poured over Him.
All power is given to Him in heaven and on earth.
brethren, could you and I pass this day through these heavens, and see
what is now going on in the sanctuary above, could you see what the
child of God now sees who died last night, could you see the Lamb with
the scars of his five deep wounds in the very midst of the throne,
surrounded by all the redeemed, every one having harps and golden vials
full of odours, could you see the many angels round about the throne,
whose number is ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of
thousands, all singing, "Worthy is the Lamb that was slain," and were
one of these angels to tell you, "This is He that undertook the cause of
lost sinners; He undertook to bear their curse and to do their obedience;
He undertook to be the second Adam, the man in their stead; and lo!
there He is upon the throne of heaven; consider Him, look long and
earnestly upon his wounds upon his glory, and tell me, do you think it
would be safe to trust Him? do you think his sufferings and obedience will
have been enough?" Yes, yes, every soul exclaims. Lord, it is enough!
Lord, stay thy hand! Show me no more, for I can bear no more. Oh, rather
let me ever stand and gaze upon the almighty, all-worthy, all-divine
Saviour, till my soul drink in complete assurance that his work undertaken
for sinners is a finished work! Yes, though the sins of all the world were
on my one wicked head, still I could not doubt that his work is complete,
and that I am quite safe when I believe in Him.
would now plead with believers. Some of you have really been
brought by God to believe in Jesus. Yet you have no abiding peace, and
very little growing in holiness. Why is this? It is because your eye is
fixed anywhere but on Christ. You are so busy looking at books, or looking
at men, or looking at the world, that you have no time, no heart, for
looking at Christ.
wonder you have little peace and joy in believing. No wonder you live so
inconsistent and unholy a life. Change your plan. Consider the greatness
and glory of Christ, who has undertaken all in the stead of sinners, and
you would find it quite impossible to walk in darkness, or to walk in sin.
Oh what mean, despicable thoughts you have of the glorious Immanuel! Lift
your eyes from your own bosom, downcast believer, look upon Jesus. It is
good to consider your ways, but it is far better to consider Christ.
would now invite anxious souls. Anxious soul! have you understood
all the glory of Christ? Have you understood that He undertook for guilty
sinners? And do you doubt if He be a sufficient Saviour? Oh, what mean
views you have of Christ if you dare not risk your soul upon Him!
Objection. I do not doubt that Christ has suffered and done quite
enough, but I fear it was for others, and not for me. If I were sure it
was for me, I would be quite happy. Ans. It is nowhere said in
the Bible that Christ died for this sinner or that sinner. If you are
waiting till you find your own name in the Bible, you will wait for ever.
But it is said a few verses before that, "He tasted death for every man;"
and again, "He is the propitiation for the sins of the whole world." Not
that all men are saved by Him. Ah! no; the most never come to Jesus, and
are lost; but this shows that any sinner may come, even the chief of
sinners, and take Christ as his own Saviour. Come you then, anxious soul;
say you, He is my refuge and my fortress; and then, be anxious, if you
II. Consider Christ as the Apostle or Messenger of God.
The word apostle means
messenger, one ordained and sent on a particular embassy. Now Christ is
an Apostle, for God ordained and sent Him into the world.
In the Old Testament,
the name by which He is oftenest called is the Angel of the Lord, or the
Messenger of the Covenant. He is called God's Elect, chosen for the work;
He is called God's Servant; He is called
the Messiah, or the Christ, or the Anointed, because God anointed Him and
sent Him to the work. In the New Testament, over and over again Christ
calls himself the Sent of God. "As Thou hast sent me into the world, so
have I sent them into the world, that the world may know that Thou hast
sent me." "And these have known that Thou hast sent me." All this shows
plainly that it is not the Son alone who is interested in the saving of
poor sinners, but the Father also. "The Father sent his Son to be the
Saviour of the world."
True, Christ is a great and glorious Saviour, and able to accomplish
anything to save poor sinners; but perhaps God the Father may not agree to
pour out his wrath upon his Son, or to accept of his Son as a surety in
our stead. Ans. Look here, Christ is the Apostle of God. It is
as much God the Father's work, as it is Christ's work. It occupied as much
of the heart of God as ever it did of the heart of Christ. God loved the
world as much and truly as ever Christ loved the world. God gave his Son,
as much as Christ gave himself for us. So God the Holy Spirit is as much
interested in it as the Father and Son. God gave his Son, the Spirit
anointed Him and dwelt in Him without measure. At his baptism God
acknowledged Him for his beloved Son, the Holy Spirit came on Him like a
Oh! brethren, could I
lift you away to the eternity that is past, could I bring you into the
council of the Eternal Three; and as it was once said, "Let us make
man," could I let you hear the word, "Let us save man," could I
show you how God from all eternity designed his Son to undertake for poor
sinners; how it was the very plan and the bottommost desire of the heart
of the Father that Jesus should come into the world, and do and die in the
stead of sinners; how the Holy Spirit breathed sweetest incense, and
dropped like holiest oil upon the head of the descending Saviour, could
I show you the intense interest with which the eye of God followed Jesus
through his whole course of sorrow and suffering and death, could I show
you the anxious haste with which God rolled away the stone from the
sepulchre while it was yet dark, for He would not leave his soul in hell,
neither suffer his Holy One to see corruption, could I show you the
ecstasies of love and joy that beat in the bosom of the infinite God when
Jesus ascended to his Father and our Father; how He welcomed Him with a
fulness of kindness and grace which God alone could give, and God alone
could receive, saying, "Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten Thee;
Thou art indeed worthy to be called my Son; never till this day wast Thou
so worthy to be called mine; thy throne, God, is for ever and ever; sit
Thou on my right hand until I make thine enemies thy footstool;" sinner,
will you ever doubt any more whether God the Father be seeking thy
salvation, whether the heart of Christ and of his Father be the same in
this one grand controversy? believer, consider this apostle of God,
meditate on these things, look and look again, until your peace be like
a river, and your righteousness like the waves of the sea, till the
breathing of your soul be, Abba, Father!
Christ as the High Priest of our profession.
duty of the high priest was twofold: 1st, to make Atonement; 2nd,
to make Intercession.
the high priest slew the goat at the altar of burnt-offerings, he did it
in presence of all the people, to make atonement for them. They all stood
around, gazing and considering their high priest; and when he gathered the
blood into the golden basin, and put on the white garments, and passed
away from their sight within the veil, their eye followed him, till the
mysterious curtain hid him from their sight. But even then the heart of
the believing Jew followed him still. Now he is drawing near to God for
us; now he is sprinkling the blood seven times before the mercy-seat,
saying, Let this blood be instead of our blood; now he is praying for us.
Brethren, let us also consider our great High Priest.
(1.) Consider Him
making Atonement. You cannot look at Him on the cross as the
disciples did; you cannot see the blood streaming from his five deep
wounds; you cannot see Him shedding his blood that the blood of sinners
might not be shed. Yet still, if God spare us, you may see bread broken
and wine poured out, a living picture of the dying Saviour. Now,
brethren, the atonement has been made, Christ has died, his sufferings are
all past. And how is it that you do not enjoy peace? It is because you do
not consider. "Israel
doth not know, my people doth not consider." Consider, has Jesus died in
the stead of guilty sinners, and do you heartily consent to take Jesus to
be the man in your stead? then, you do not need to die. Oh, happy
believer, rejoice evermore! Live within sight of
and you will live within sight of glory; and, oh, rejoice in the happy
ordinance that sets a broken Saviour so plainly before you!
Consider Christ as making Intercession. When Christ ascended
from the Mount of Olives, and passed through these heavens, carrying his
bloody wounds into the presence of God, and when his disciples had gazed
after Him, till a cloud received Him out of their sight, we are told
that they returned to Jerusalem with great joy. What! are they
joyful at parting with their blessed Master? When He told them He was to
leave them, sorrow filled their hearts, and He had to argue with them and
comfort them, saying, "Let not your heart be troubled; it is expedient for
you that I go away." How, then, are they changed? Jesus has left them, and
they are filled with joy. Oh! here is the secret, they knew that Christ
was now going into the presence of God for them, that their great High
Priest was now entering within the veil to make intercession for them.
Now, believer, would
you share in the great joy of the disciples? Consider the Apostle and High
Priest of our profession, Christ Jesus. He is above yon clouds, and above
yon sky. Oh that you would stand gazing up into heaven, not with the
bodily eye, but with the eye of faith! Oh, what a wonderful thing the eye
of faith is! It sees beyond the stars, it pierces to the throne of God,
and there it looks on the face of Jesus making intercession for us, whom
having not seen we love; in whom, though now we see Him not, yet
believing, we rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory.
Oh! if you would live
thus, what sweet peace would fill your bosom! And how many droppings of
the Spirit would come down on you in answer to the Saviour's prayer! Oh!
how your face would shine like Stephen; and the poor blind world would see
that there is a joy which the world cannot give, and the world cannot take
away, a heaven upon earth!