« PreviousContinue »
IT IS DONE.
The words of the Son of God, “It is done,” pronounced toward the close of the Apocalyptic drama, seem to be the echoes of words uttered on the cross. “It is finished,” closed the sacrifice; “It is done,” winds up its magnificent results. What was then finished in the shape of purchase, shall on the arrival of this era be historically perfected and confirmed. The words, clearly retrospective in their bearing, will prove to the listening universe that every promise and prophecy enunciated by God in his holy Word will then and there be completed and fulfilled. :
When Jesus said upon the cross, “It is finished," he implied that all that related to his agony, as a fact, had been then consummated; when Jesus says on his throne of glory, “It is done,” or, “It is finished,” it will show that all that relates to his glory then and there has come to pass. The first was uttered from the lips of the Man of sorrows; the last will be enunciated by Him on whose head are many crowns, who is Lord of lords, and King of kings. As sure as be drank the bitter cup, and finished the curse, and made an end of sin, and brought in everlasting righteousness, so sure shall he wear many crowns, sway the sceptre of a universal majesty, reign in each heart, and rule from sea to sea, and from the river to the utmost ends of the earth.
Let us notice very briefly, not much in detail, some of those great truths that shall be translated into facts when Christ comes the second time, without sin unto salvation, to receive a kingdom, and to reign for ever. First, then, the promise proclaimed in Paradise will then and there be perfected in all respects —“The woman's seed shall bruise the serpent's head.” These words are not yet fully accomplished. Satan fell like lightning from the heavens, ere Christ left the earth; but Satan still, however shackled and limited in his aggression, walks the world, its untiring foe, and goeth about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. Satan is crippled, but he is not yet crushed. His power is broken, but the remnant of his sceptre is still mighty upon earth. But when Christ shall come again, this Angel coming down from heaven shall lay hold upon Satan, that “old serpent," and bind him in chains for a thousand years; and after the respite that he has—or, if I may use the words, enjoys, for sin is his only enjoyment, and to injure is the only happiness he knows-after the thousand years shall have run their course, and he shall bave again gathered them that dwell in the four parts of the earth, to assail the people and the saints of the Most High, he will be cast into the lake of fire, which is the second death, and be there with the beast tormented for ever and ever. Then the promises, which had their birth and began to be fulfilled at the cross, shall be seen fully actualised beside the throne in the Millennial glory; and that promise which sounded so musical amid the wrecks of Paradise—an earnest of which was given on the cross by the lips of Him who was the subject of the promise-shall be seen in all its perfection and complete accomplishment, when Satan shall be banished from the earth he has desecrated so long, and man shall be delivered from the aggressions of that “old serpent,” that foul fiend, whose trail and poison are traceable in the sins and crimes that have stained the annals and disfigured the history of mankind. “It shall be done,” was the ancient promise; “It is done,” will be answered in endless and responsive reverberations.
The promise made to Abraham so often, and in such varied and expressive terms, will also be fulfilled. God said to Abraham, after he had shown him his readiness to offer up Isaac: “In blessing I will bless thee, and in multiplying I will multiply thy seed, as the stars of the heaven, and as the sand which is upon the sea-shore; and thy seed shall possess the gate of his enemies; and in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed; because thou hast obeyed my voice." Abraham waits and looks in heaven for the fulfilment of that promise. It is not yet actual; there is only an earnest and a foretaste of it. Abraham still looks from his starry throne for the city that hath foundations; he still anticipates the true Canaan, the promised rest — in this very orb—that remains for the people of God; and though perfectly happy, he feels that his happiness will not have reached its culminating greatness until the dead dust that sleeps in the cave of Mamre shall be reknit to the soul that worships with the cherubim beside the throne; and he shall see literally a great multitude that no man can number, praising God and the Lamb, and at last be told by Him who is faithful and true, “ Abraham, here is the promise unspent in the lapse of six thousand years, now fulfilled in all nations blessed in Christ; thy seed multiplied like the stars in the firmament above thee, and like the sands on the sea shore beneath thy feet.” How faithful is God! Are not all his promises yea and amen in Christ Jesus?
The precious promise made to the Messiah will then be fulfilled by the everlasting Father. “He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied,” will also be fulfilled. All that he now sees is a handful, though that handful be an earnest. A mere minute minority of the population of the earth profess Christianity externally, and a still smaller section of the outward professing Church feel Christianity experimentally. It cannot, therefore, be said that Christ has yet seen all the fruits of his sore agony and painful travail. He has seen enough to satisfy that the whole will be; the first-fruits already wave before him, but the full harvest alone will satisfy him. Jesus will not have found the full purchase of his travail, nor will be have seen the whole fruits of “his agony and bloody sweat,” until his Church be complete in character and in number, and Christ have the pre-eminence over all the earth, and all be blessed in him, and all shall call him blessed. Calvary will have its complement on Mount Zion — the sorrows of the cross will be more than compensated by the glories of that crown. Jesus shall then see that he died not in vain—that not a handful, but a mighty multitude, are the product of his sorrows, and the purchase of his blood. It was for this — the joy set before him, and soon to be his possession — that he endured the cross, despising the shame.
When Christ shall say, “It is done,” it seems to be implied that all the promises made to the Church of Christ, as to her future glory and perfection, will then be fulfilled. We cannot read Isaiah without noticing predictions respecting the Church of the future, so brilliant that no admissible approximation to them ever seems to have taken place since first they were uttered. We are constrained to admit that those bright promises relate to a coming era — that the world to come will be the theatre of their development — that that bright scene delineated so vividly and so often — is the time when the Church shall arise and shine, and put on her beautiful garments, and her righteousness break forth like brightness, and her salvation like a lamp that burneth; and she shall be presented to Christ, no longer a weeping and sorrow