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Jesus what He never yet had seen, a man all holy. His Law was obeyed to its fullest extent, and all its purity reflected in the person of Christ. It is said, “The righteous Lord loveth righteous
that righteousness in all its perfection, Christ exhibited. Then with what delight and satisfaction must the mind of the everlasting Father have rested upon his incarnate Son. It
And herein the Son became an object of love. “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” The perfection of his obedience is the holiness I love. His life is the
my Law. His character the transcript of my own. I see a man pure as my own Deity. human nature invested in divine insullied sanctity. “I am well pleased.”
But again, there was another work with which the Son of God was charged. He engaged to make in his own person and sufferings a full atonement for sin. He came to bear the curse due to transgression. After a life of perfect obedience, He was pledged to endure, in his body and his soul all the tremendous punishment which the law of God had attached to the breach of its commands. Guiltless Himself of any transgression, He was to bear the weight of all that anger which eternal justice threatened against sin, just as though He had Himself been an offender.
This engagement was to cost Him his life. Atonement for sin could only be accomplished by the suffering of death. To this therefore He was devoted. “The Son of Man is come, said He, “ to give his life a ransom for many."
Now in this suffering too the Father viewed Him. He looked on Jesus as the voluntary victim by whose vicarious sacrifice, the Church was to be saved. The Father looked, I say, and loved his Son for this his self-devotion. Mark those words, “ Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life.”
Yes, the suffering that his Son so willingly endure, made that Son an object of loving complacency to the Father's mind ; and again was He his Beloved, inasmuch as in Him He beheld the Redeemer of his Church, in the very act of ransoming his people.
So that in all the work of Jesus here on earth, the perfection of his life, and no less the sorrows of his death made Him ever “the Beloved" of the Father.
3. Once more, now that Jesus is gone up on high, and is at the right hand of God, what is it that He there delights to do, and how does the Father still regard Him? Still is He going on with his work, the work He undertook from all eternity, the work He came into the world to execute in time, the work of saving love, giving effect to all He did and suffered here by ever making intercession for us. It is as Mediator that He now stands before the throne : ready to act as Advocate for all who come to God by Him, and to communicate to his people all that grace of which they stand in need, “Head over all things to the Church."
The Father looks upon Him now, and delights in his intercession, honours Him before all the hosts of heaven, as there He appears in human form, the man Christ Jesus, and distinguishes Him as above all others, “ the Beloved.” “He hath set Him," we are told, “ at his own right hand in the heavenly places, far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come.
Thus then have we seen, what Jesus is in the eye of God, and why it is that He is so preeminently " the Beloved.”
II. We have now to notice, as declared in our text, WHAT HIS PEOPLE ARE : Accepted in the Beloved." And here we come to all the practical bearing of the wonderful truths to which we have been adverting, their bearing, Christian brethren, on ourselves.
Accepted,”-let us reflect on what that word implies. It implies this, that the infinitely holy God, looking upon us, shall see in us no fault, nothing opposed to his own will, but, on the contrary, shall rejoice in us, delight in what He beholds, fixing his eye with satisfaction and love upon us, and acknowledging Himself well pleased.
Remember, brethren, God is holy, infinitely holy, and infinitely just ; and therefore He can accept, approve, and delight in only that which comes before Him in a form congenial with his own perfections. In order to be accepted with God, we must so stand in his sight that He shall be able in all his justice, all his truth, all his holiness, to say, “it is good, it is blameless, it is all that I desire.'
Now thus our text tells us it is with all true Christians: they are accepted with God. But now observe in what way they are so accepted : -" in the Beloved."
We have seen how God regards his Son, how truly that Son is acceptable before him. Then here we are taught that so his people are. God views them in his Son. God identifies them with his Son. And just as that Son is beloved, so are they accepted.
When, in the beginning, the Father covenanted with the Son, He contemplated the church in her head ; He recognised his people in their Mediator; and as He loved their representative, so He loved them.
When Jesus left the realms of glory, and came down to execute his work on earth, the Father still identified his people with him. Did Jesus fulfil all righteousness? The Father accounted that righteousness as wrought for those whom He views in Jesus ; He imputes it all to them ; He reckons it as their's. gards them as having kept his law to the full, because Jesus hath done so, and they are in his sight one with Jesus. Hence in his word He sets Jesus forth to us as “ the Lord our righteousness.” Yea, saith the Spirit, by the holy Apostle, “We are made the righteousness of God in Him.” The Beloved's righteousness is our's. Again, did Jesus by his own suffering and death make a full, perfect, and sufficient satisfaction, and atonement for sin ? God the Father looks upon his Beloved on his cross, and in Him
sees the Church. Jesus was the Church's surety. God looks on his people in Him, and regards his atonement as their's, his satisfaction as their's, and accepting the penalty which his Son has paid, He puts it to their account, and declares his justice satisfied. And thus too the Beloved's atonement as well as righteousness is our’s.
But follow Jesus whither He is gone. Let the eye of faith consider Him where He now is, at God's right hand, the Intercessor of the Church, her representative in heaven. Does the Father honour and exalt Him in that character ? Does the Father still declare that it is his Beloved? Then remember, that Father still views his people in his Son: still does He identify them with Him: yea, they are "made to sit together with him in heavenly places.”
Brethren, what matter have we then, in those few words of our text, for our wondering and adoring meditation !
God of his mercy apply them to our hearts. Let me in conclusion endeavour to make some practical use of the truths which have been before us.
And first, I would say, what direction do we gather from our text, to guide every enquiring sinner, every awakened and anxious soul, who wants to know his
peace with God. I ask such an one, what he thinks to be the way of peace with God? Alas, how often he will answer, that if only he were better in himself, more free from sin, more holy in heart and life, then he could hope that God would accept
Ah ! poor sinner, thus seek thy peace,