Our Glorious Lord (6) – The Bruised Christ
The celebration of the Lord’s Supper in its sacred simplicity, as set forth in the Word of God, has as its chief object the fresh presentation of a Bruised Christ, under the Spirit’s ministry, to the hearts of the saints. “This do in remembrance of Me,” is the Lord’s own request for His peoples’ keeping of the great feast of commemoration. “Ye do show the Lord’s death till He come,” is the Spirit’s own comment on love’s response in the redeemed, to love’s request by the Redeemer.
Our meditations and our remembrances are to be centred especially on a Bruised Christ, who for our sakes “endured the Cross,” and by way of its sorrows and sufferings passed up into the glories that were to follow, as the prophetic Scriptures (1 Pet. 1:11), and His own words concerning them in Luke 24:26 inform us. Very profitable it surely is for the saint, to muse and meditate on the Lord, as thus bruised, yet victorious, suffering yet triumphant, brought into the dust of death in order to gloriously rise above and beyond it, so securing to all His own that freedom from “fear of death” (Heb. 2:14), and victory over it (1 Cor. 15:55-57), in which they even now rejoice, and on which they will enter in richer and fuller measure, in the hour of resurrection or change, so sure and near.
The first mention of the Bruised Christ is found in Genesis 3:15, after the entrance of sin and the fall of man. The remedy provided by God for the ruin, and the way of redemption and deliverance, are declared to be by the Seed of the woman bruising the destroyer’s head, and in the conflict having to suffer the bruising of His own heel. The Conqueror was to become victorious through death, and the way of deliverance was to be through suffering. Through the ages that followed, this bruised Seed of the woman, this victorious though wounded Redeemer, was exhibited to faith in the types and shadows of the law. The dumb victims slain on Jewish altars, the sacred incense bruised and beaten small, to give out its virtue and impart its fragrance for acceptance with God, kept alive in men divinely taught, the meaning of the Eden prediction, that through the bruising of the Redeemer, the great redemption was to come.
Later, the prophet’s words in Isaiah 53:5, speaking the language of faith, and bringing what was still in the future into present view of the soul, “He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities, and with His stripes we are healed,” tell how, through this age of Gospel grace, one and another of the ruined race pass in single file through the door (John 10:9) of a personal appropriation of Christ into the possession of a present and known redemption (Eph. 1:7) and a victorious deliverance from the power of Satan (Acts 26:18) into the kingdom (Col. 1:13), there to share (Rom. 8:37) the triumphs of the Son of God.
Yes, blessed be God, the Bruised Christ is the sinner’s Saviour, the saints’ Object, and the song of all who know the virtues of His redeeming work, while they await in joyful hope the hour of His final triumph over Satan, in which the great adversary is to be bruised under their feet (Rom. 16:30). It will be a sight of the Bruised Christ, as He appears in His glory (Zech. 13:10), with the marks of the Cross in view, that causes repentant Israel to own Him King, and repeat in faith’s own language the words of Isaiah 53.
In the overpowering scene of glorified saints depicted in Revelation 5, where the beloved John weeps because no man is found worthy to claim the title to universal sovereignty and the right to redeem the inheritance, when the great silence seemed to indicate that earth’s long cherished hope of redemption and liberation was to fail, then “a Lamb as it had been slain,” bearing the marks of the Cross, stands forth in the midst of that circle of glorified beings, and by right of the very bruises, that as Sacrifice and Redeemer He bears, claims His right, and asserts His title to reign, while heavenly hosts acclaim Him “worthy,” and sing His praises as “the Lamb that was slain.”
And so throughout the eternal ages, in ways which are as yet to us but dimly traced, will God reveal and display the glories of His Son, as bruised yet conquering, as slain yet triumphant, through whom, and in virtue of whose wondrous Cross, God will fill the heavens with a redeemed and regenerated people whose song shall eternally be of their victorious Christ. May it be ours now, in ever-increasing measure, to become acquainted with, and meditate on this Bruised Christ, and to sing in the deep joy of the heart—
I stand upon His merit;
I know no other stand,
Not e’en where glory dwelleth
In Immanuel’s Land.