Think not that our Saviour began to live when he was born of the Virgin Mary; imagine not that he dates his existence from the manger at Bethlehem; remember he is the Eternal, he is before all things, and by him all things consist. There was never a time in which there was not God. And just so, there was never a period in which there was not Christ Jesus our Lord. He is self-existent, hath no beginning of days, neither end of years; he is the immortal, invisible, the only wise God, our Saviour.
What! was it certain that he about whose shoulders was cast the purple of the universe, would become a man, dressed in a peasant’s garment? Could it be true that he who was everlasting and immortal, would one day be nailed to a cross?
And now wonder, ye angels, the Infinite has become an infant; he, upon whose shoulders the universe doth hang, hangs at his mother’s breast; he who created all things, and bears up the pillars of creation, hath now become so weak, that he must be carried by a woman! And oh, wonder ye that knew him in his riches, whilst ye admire his poverty! Where sleeps the new-born king? Had he the best room in Cæsar’s palace? hath a cradle of gold been prepared for him, and pillows of down, on which to rest his head? No, where the ox fed, in the dilapidated stable, in the manger, there the Saviour lies, swathed in the swaddling bands of the children of poverty!
He who had once been waited on by angels, becomes the servant of servants, takes a towel, girds himself and washes his disciples’ feet! He who was once honored with the hallelujahs of ages, is now spit upon and despised! He who was loved by his Father, and had abundance of the wealth of affection, could say, “He that eateth bread with me hath lifted up his heel against me.” Oh for words to picture the humiliation of Christ! What leagues of distance between him that sat upon the throne, and him that died upon the cross! Oh, who can tell the mighty chasm between yon heights of glory, and the cross of deepest woe!
as it is said of some great works of architecture, that though they be seen every morning, there is always something fresh to wonder at; so we might say of Christ, that though we saw him every day, we should always see fresh reason to love, and wonder, and adore.
Oh! what might of misery and love there must have been in the Saviour’s heart when he was spit upon by the men he had created; when the eyes he himself had filled with vision, looked on him with scorn, and when the tongues, to which he himself had given utterance, hissed and blasphemed him! Oh, my friends, if the Saviour had felt as we do, and I doubt not he did feel in some measure as we do—only by great patience he curbed himself—methinks he might have swept them all away; and, as they said, he might have come down from the cross, and delivered himself, and destroyed them utterly. It was mighty patience that could bear to tread this world beneath his feet, and not to crush it, when it so ill-treated its Redeemer.
Hear this, ye sons of Adam—the Scripture says, “For your sakes he became poor, that ye through his poverty might be made rich.” For your sakes. Now, when I address you as a great congregation, you will not feel the beauty of this expression, “For your sake.” Husband and wife, walking in the fear of God, let me take you by the hand and look you in the face, let me repeat those words, “for your sakes he became poor.” Young man, let a brother of thine own age, look on thee and repeat these words, “Though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor.” Grey-headed believer, let me look on you and say the same, “For your sake he became poor.” Brethren, take the word home, and see if it does not melt you—“Though he was rich, yet for my sake he became poor.” Beg for the influences of the Spirit upon that truth, and it will make your heart devout and your spirit loving
Look thou on every promise, and see the blood stains on it; yea, look, too, on the harps and crowns of heaven and read the bloody purchase! Remember, thou couldst never have been anything but a damned sinner unless Christ had bought thee! Remember, if he had remained in heaven, thou wouldst for ever have remained in hell; unless he had shrouded and eclipsed his own honor thou wouldst never have had a ray of light to shine upon thee. Therefore bless his dear name, extol him, trace every stream to the fountain; and bless him who is the source and the fountain of everything thou hast.
Charles Haddon Spurgeon