“For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, that ye through his poverty might be rich.” 2 Corinthians 8:9
Suggested Further Reading: Mark 15:16-39
Our Lord Jesus might have said in all his sorrows, “I have known better days than these.” When he was tempted of the devil in the wilderness, it must have been hard for him to have restrained himself from dashing the devil into pieces. If I had been the Son of God, feeling as I do now, if that devil had tempted me I should have dashed him into the nethermost hell, in the twinkling of an eye! And then conceive the patience our Lord must have had, standing on the pinnacle of the temple, when the devil said, “Fall down and worship me.” He would not touch him, the vile deceiver, but let him do what he pleased.Oh! What might of misery and love there must have been in the Saviour’s heart when he was spat 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—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.You marvel at the patience which restrained him; you marvel also at the poverty he must have felt, the poverty of spirit, when they rebuked him and he reviled them not again; when they scoffed at him, and yet he said, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.” He had seen brighter days; that made his misery more bitter, and his poverty more poor.
For meditation: In the garden Jesus could have used his power to call twelve legions of angels to his rescue (Matthew 26:53), but instead he employed it to heal the ear of one of his enemies (Luke 22:51). On the cross he could have used his power to save himself, but instead he continued to employ it to save others—his enemies, including us (Romans 5:10).
Sermon no. 151
13 September (1857)