Wednesday, May 28, 2008

The Word of Suffering

This weeks chapter in the wonderful treasure trove by A.W. Pink is entitled "The Word of Suffering" the words "I thirst" are what we first read, a sign of Christ's humanity. as Pink puts it, "I thirst" What a text for a sermon! A short one is true, yet how comprehensive, how expressive, and how tragic! The maker of heaven and earth with parched lips! The Lord of Glory in need of a drink! The beloved of the Father crying " I thirst"! What a scene! What a word is this! Plainly no uninspired pen drew such a picture."

In thirsting we see a great evidence of Christ's humanity, he was very God of very God but also very man of very man, "The person of our adorable Saviour is not a fit object for intellectual diagnosis; rather must we bow before Him in worship." Jesus is not a theory for us to ponder, he is God incarnate and also man. He is a person, the perfect union of the divine and human. As Pink states, " The Lord Jesus was not a divine man, nor a humanized God; He was the God man. Forever God, and now forever man." When Jesus became incarnate there was not a ceasing to be God, neither were any of his divine attributes laid aside but he did strip himself of the glory that he shared with the Father before the world existed, as Pink said earlier "what a sermon!" awe inspiring that Jesus would condescend to us and live among us as Hebrews 2:14 puts it, "Since the children have flesh and blood, he too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might destroy him who holds the power of death-that is the devil-and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death." and again in verse 17-18, "For this reason he had to be made like his brothers in every way, in order that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in service to God, and that he might make atonement for the sins of the people. Because he himself suffered when he was tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted." ( Hebrews 2:14, 17-18 NIV)

I am so thankful to have a high priest that is able to sympathise with my weakness but also is able to make atonement for my sin! Hallelujah what a Saviour! I'm amazed at the humility that Jesus exhibits here, as Pink quotes Philippians 2:6-7 " He who was "in the form of God thought it not robbery to be equal with God; but made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men." Pink goes on, " The Babe of Bethlehem was Immanuel-God with us. He was more than a manifestation of God; He was God manifest in the flesh. He was both Son of God and Son of Man. Not two separate personalities but one Person possessing two natures-the divine and the human."emphasis mine.

Again we see more of Christ's sufferings and their intensity here, "That night and that day were hours into which an eternity was compressed. Yet during it all not a single word of murmuring passed his lips. There was no complaining, no begging for mercy." I felt quite convicted after reading that section, how many times I complain about the most minor inconvenience, and yet my Lord hung naked on a cross with nails driven through his hands and feet yet not one word of complaint, even though he could have at any time come down or obliterated the ones who hung him there. Not a word of murmuring, Lord help me to stop complaining so much.

The chapter wraps up nicely, as Pink gives great insight here, "There is a sense, a real one, in which Christ still thirsts, he is thirsting for the love and devotion of his own. He is yearning for fellowship with his blood bought people." amazing! Jesus actually wants fellowship with us, the once enemies of God, now brought into the family of God by the blood of Christ! as Pink puts it so well "Love is never satisfied till there is a response and love in return." What an encouragement, let's love him and enjoy sweet fellowship with him today! That would be a great place for some shouting!!

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