Something of His greatness
Often when musing on the greatness of the One, who has expressed His love for us in death, we visualize the vast celestial system, where everything moves with mathematical precision and accuracy. We are filled with wonder and awe as we think of the mysteries of that region which defy the power of the greatest telescopes to penetrate, and with the Psalmist of old, re-echo “The heavens declare the glory of God” (Ps. 19:1).
Then too, we might think of the magnitude of space; the fascinating wonders of the rolling deep, with all its weird and terrifying secrets; of the untrodden peaks of the everlasting hills. Within our reach we behold the perfect order of the changing seasons, and are assured that He hath made everything beautiful in its season.
But this vista of created glory, coupled with the multitude of shining hosts, could never win the affections of man’s heart nor drive away his fear and distrust of the One who brought them into being by the Word of His power. The witness of creation would tend to overawe, and repel the approach of man to God.
How wonderful it is to see that God, knowing this, has found a way in which He can come within the range of man’s vision and circumstances in a manner which does not occasion alarm and fear in the heart of His creature, and thus bring him into the warmth and comfort of that Divine circle, cleaned of every spot and stain. This wonderful expression of love and grace, of the disposition of God’s heart, has been made fully known, not in the glory of created majesty and wonder, but in the Person of His only Son.
We learn by contrasts, and in Matthew 12, the greatness of that despised and rejected One stands out in clearness when brought into contrast with Solomon, Jonah, and the Temple.
No earthly potentate like Solomon, when kings flocked from the uttermost parts of the earth for his counsel. His reign was characterised by peace, plenty and praise, yet he only formed part of a background to bring into relief the greatness of Christ.
Was there ever such a preacher as Jonah? A whole city repented at the sound of his voice, and even the beasts of the field were affected. Nothing like it before or since. But here was One greater than Jonah.
To the Jew the temple was his life; the singing and the incense, the order of the priesthood, and very much more. But here in their midst was a living Temple, great enough to satisfy every spiritual aspiration of the worshipper. He could give to the stricken heart that which no temple order could. He was greater than the temple.
How precious to view Him in this scene of moral corruption; no retinue of angels, no bodyguard of seraphim. As holy as when seen in Isaiah 6, but divested of all that visible and terrifying expression.
Let us muse on those features which have endeared Him to our hearts and won our trust. He was meek; He was lowly; He was harmless; He was undefiled; He was approachable; the weary came for rest; the blind to see; the deaf to hear; the guilty one for pardon; the bereaved for comfort; and the weak for strength. Very much more could be sung of His moral greatness in His lowly pathway here, and as we dwell on this, surely it will cause the tongue of the dumb to sing for joy, and the lame to leap like the hart.
He was rich, but for our sakes became poor. The heaven of heavens was not great enough to contain Him, but down here He had nowhere to lay His blessed head. The scene which He left was reflective of His glory, but here He was despised and rejected. Up there the subject of angelic praise, here the song of the drunkard, and the object of derision.
The power of His Godhead was no less in Jerusalem than in glory, but He allowed them to pluck the hair off His cheek, and He gave His back to the smiter. He could have taken refuge in His creatorial power, but He had made himself of no reputation. No circumstance of His pathway could make Him deviate from it; it was the way which God was taking in order to reach us, to recover us for the glory of His Son.
And after a pathway of moral perfection, with its end in sight, we are privileged to witness one more blaze of His moral greatness ; when, death having no claim upon Him, He voluntarily goes into it, in order that He might rob it of its fearful character, and thus set us free in the liberty of sons to praise and worship Him throughout the ages of the ages.
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