Christ Incarnate, the Pledge of Deliverance
When God takes manhood into union with himself in this matchless way, it must mean blessing to man. God cannot intend to destroy that race which he thus weds unto himself. Such a marriage as this, between mankind and God, must foretell peace; war and destruction are never thus predicted. God incarnate in Bethlehem, to be adored by shepherds, augurs nothing but—
Peace on earth, and mercy mild; God and sinners reconciled.
O ye sinners, who tremble at the thought of the divine wrath, as well you may, lift up your heads with joyful hope of pardon and favour, for God must be full of grace and mercy to that race which he so distinguishes above all others by taking it into union with himself! Be of good cheer, O men of women born, and expect untold blessings, for ‘unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given.’ If you look at rivers, you can often tell, by their colour, whence they have come, and the soil over which they have flowed; those which flow from melting glaciers can be recognized at once. There is a text, concerning a heavenly river, which you will understand if you look at it in this light. John, in the Revelation, says concerning the angel, ‘He shewed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb.’ Where the throne is jointly occupied by God and the appointed mediator, the incarnate God, the once-bleeding Lamb, then the river that flows from it must be a river, not of the molten lava of devouring wrath, but of the water of life.
The consequences of Christ’s incarnation must be pleasant, profitable, saving, and ennobling to the sons of men. They include, among many other blessings, a pledge of our deliverance. We are a fallen race, we are sunken in the mire, we are sold under sin, in bondage and in slavery to Satan; but if God comes to our race, and espouses our nature, why, then, it must be because he has resolved to retrieve our fall. It cannot be possible for the gates of hell to enclose those who have God with them. Slaves under sin, and bondsmen beneath the law, hearken to the trump of jubilee, for one has come among you, born of a woman, made under the law, who is also ‘the mighty God,’ pledged to set you free.
He is a Saviour, and a great one; he is able to save, for he is almighty; and he is pledged to do it, for he has entered the lists on our behalf, and put on the harness for the battle. The champion of his people is one who will not fail, nor be discouraged; the victory over all their foes shall be fully won. Jesus coming down from heaven is the pledge that he will take his people up to heaven; his taking our nature is the seal of our being lifted up to stand before his throne.
Were it an angel who had interposed on our behalf, we might have some fears as to the result of the conflict. Were it a mere man who had espoused our cause, we might go beyond fear, and sit down in despair; but as God has actually taken manhood into union with himself, let us ‘ring the bells of heaven,’ and be full of glad thanksgiving. There must be brighter and happier days in store for us, there must be salvation for man, there must be glory to God, now that we have ‘God with us.’ Let us bask in the beams of the Sun of righteousness, who now has risen upon us, a Light to lighten the Gentiles, and to be the glory of his people Israel.
Good Tidings of Great Joy, 38 meditations from Charles Spurgeon on the incarnation of the Lord Jesus Christ, is now available from the Banner of Truth (Clothbound, 176 pages, RP: £10.50).
Featured Photo by Andrea Caramello on Unsplash
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