I speak not of you all: I know whom I have chosen: but that the scripture may be fulfilled…
What a spectacle! He who is inseparably united to the source of life and felicity, in sorrow; He who is the unfailing fountain of consolation to His children on earth, and of joy to the redeemed in heaven, in trouble and distress! We in vain look for external causes of this woe. Entering upon His last conflicts, He cries, "Now is My soul troubled." These inward sufferings of our Redeemer were no less necessary than His external woes; the anguish of His soul was as requisite as the tortures of His cross.
1. Sin had defiled our souls as well as our bodies: nay, the soul had been the first source of disobedience; in it the throne of sin and Satan was erected, while the body was used only as its instrument. When Jesus, therefore, appeared as surety to expiate for our offences, it was needful that the agonies of His soul should unite with the pains of His body, in order to pay down a full ransom for us.
2. Besides, one great end of His incarnation and death was, that He might set before us a perfect pattern of holy conduct, a complete example of every virtue; so that in every circumstance we might cast our eyes upon Him, and learn our duty. But this great end could never have been accomplished, had our Redeemer experienced no sorrows of the soul, had He been a stranger to inward troubles.
3. And, finally, had only the body of Jesus suffered, we should have been deprived of a large portion of that consolation and support which is now afforded us by remembering the events of His life. Every afflicted Christian has been comforted by recollecting, that "we have not a High Priest who cannot be touched with a feeling of our infirmities," but one who "was in all points tempted as we are," and who will therefore sympathize with us in all our sorrows. The inward sorrows of men are, it is true, often criminal. Christ's sorrows were ever holy: for in their source they were pure; in their degree, they did not transcend the measure which reason and religion required; and their effect never was to suspend His communion with His Father, to make Him pause in His laborious beneficence, or recoil from those sufferings which He was to undergo for our salvation. Under this trouble of spirit, Jesus has recourse to prayer. And how exalted is this testimony to the sublimity of the Redeemer's character, and the benefits of His mediatorial work: "I have glorified My name." In the incarnation of Immanuel, the wisdom and the faithfulness, and the love of God, had already been illustriously displayed. Yes, in these and in other modes the honour of the Divine name had been promoted by the Redeemer. But the voice from heaven added, "I will glorify it again," more remarkably by Thy death and the great effects of Thy sacrifice. And has not this been fully verified? Had we time to display the Divine glory, as manifested in the Cross, the Resurrection, the Ascension of Jesus; in the gift of the Holy Spirit; in the conversion of the Gentiles; you would instantly acknowledge that this declaration has been accomplished.Look upwards, and see how there especially in the Cross the name of God is glorified.
1. The Divine perfections are there displayed in a degree infinitely greater than they are elsewhere manifested. You admire the goodness which shines in nature and providence; but what is this to that love which induced the Father to give the Son of His bosom to undergo such agonies for your salvation? You shudder at that justice and holiness which are announced in the Scriptures, which are heard in the thunders and glitter in the lightnings on Sinai; but they are more manifested in the tremendous sacrifice of Immanuel.
2. It is there that those perfections, which appeared irreconcilable, beautifully and completely harmonize. Holiness is exalted, while grace triumphs.The rights of the Divine government are unimpaired, while the sinner is saved.
1. Careless and impenitent man, this subject should alarm thee! The woes which Jesus endured were suffered for the guilty. Refuse the gospel method of salvation, and thou sacrilegiously attemptest to rob God of His glory manifested in it. But wilt thou succeed?
2. Believer, in the anguish of Jesus, see the foundation of thy joy! He suffered that thou mightest triumph.
3. Communicants, approach the holy table. Contemplate the glories of God in the crucified Saviour. Retrace the mercy of your Redeemer.
(H. Kollock, D. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: I speak not of you all: I know whom I have chosen: but that the scripture may be fulfilled, He that eateth bread with me hath lifted up his heel against me.