An Exalted Saviour - by C.A. Coates
AN EXALTED SAVIOUR
It is a solemn and yet a blessed moment when light from God breaks in upon the soul of a sinner. Light which carries its own divine credentials with it, for it exposes all the secrets of our hearts in a way which makes us know we are in the presence of One who reads us through and through. Intellectual difficulties fade like shadows of the night when light from God breaks in: proud reasonings and vain imaginations are soon dispelled.
"I have sinned" is then the soul's confession. "God be merciful to me a sinner!" becomes the penitent's prayer. He finds himself in the presence of God, and there he discovers that he has completely failed in all his responsibilities; he finds depravity in his heart, and sin lurking beneath every motive of his nature; he becomes conscious that he is sinful, and - however humbling it may be - he has to admit that he is a fallen creature.
What is to be done? Can the sinner by any means remove the stains of guilt from his conscience, or banish the germs of evil from his heart? Can he elevate himself to a platform where death will not reach him, and where he will be secure from the judgment of God? No one in his sober senses could answer these questions in the affirmative.
But has God no resource in the presence of this state of things? Must He allow the dark tide of death and judgment to sweep over the human race and abandon for ever His great designs for the exaltation of man? One could speak of God's thoughts concerning man in these words -"What is man? ... Thou hast made him a little lower than the angels, and hast crowned him with glory and honour. Thou madest him to have dominion over the works of thy hands; thou hast put all things under his feet" (Psalm 8: 4-6). Surely this is not a fallen man - a wretched creature stripped of the likeness of God, with nothing to his account but sin and shame, and who has reduced himself to the dust of death! No! We must turn to another Man to find the wearer of these crowns, and the One worthy to be exalted thus.
"That holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God" (Luke 1: 35) were the words in which His advent was announced. The One who from eternity was "with God and ... was God" was "made flesh and dwelt among us." I beseech you to think of the amazing pity, compassion, and love revealed to sinners in the fact that the Son of God [i.e., a Person of the Godhead has become a Man known in that capacity as the Son of Man and the Son of God - see Hebrews 1:2 - Editor] has become a Man. For why did He come thus into the world? Why should the One who was above all creatures be "made a little lower than the angels"? It was "for the suffering of death," and "that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man."
Oh! where shall we find a parallel to love like this? When David, dethroned and exiled by the rebellion of his son, heard of that son's death, his love rose above all his injuries, and he wept and said, "Would God I had died for thee, O Absalom, my son, my son!" What David could not do for Absalom, the Son of God has done for us. The lamented Princess Alice was nursing her child in diphtheria, when the little hands were put up for the mother's kiss. She stooped down - breaking through the restraints of prudence - and kissed the little one at the expense of her life, and a nation's tears fell when it heard the pathetic story.
But think of the Son of God coming into the world to give expression to what was in God's heart for men - stooping down to put the kiss of divine love on poor, ruined sinners - at the cost of His lifel Will you not turn to Him now, and thank Him for love that was stronger than death? Are you not ready to exclaim:
'Oh! how vile my lost estate, Since my ransom was so great'?
The awful reality of our condition as children of Adam was never attested so plainly as when Jesus died. The whole universe could read at Calvary that God's sentence of death upon fallen man was irrevocable. But at the same moment a source of life and blessing was thrown open for sinners. The One who died for us is no longer on the cross or in the tomb. He is risen from the dead, and exalted at the right hand of God. Man - in the Person of Jesus - is now "crowned with glory and honour."
No created intelligence can measure the value of the death of Jesus. It has furnished millions with a perfect title to glory, it has put away for ever the sins of all who trust Him, it is the ground on which the whole earth will one day be filled with blessing, and its results will flow on in vast and widening streams of grace and glory through everlasting days. Believe, then, now on the Son of God and be saved! His "one sacrifice for sins" is available for you. "Through this man is preached unto you forgiveness of sins, and by him all that believe are justified from all things" (Acts 13: 38, 39).
C. A. Coates