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"The sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow." — 1 Peter 1:11.

Connected with the sufferings of Christ there was a threefold glory.

There was a glory that preceded his sufferings. This is implied in his language: "I came forth from the Father." "I came down from heaven." But it is expressly mentioned when he says, "The glory that I had with Thee before the world began." What condescension can there be where there is no previous dignity? And what possessions can a being claim before his existence? But he was rich, and for our sakes became poor. He was in the form of God, and thought it no robbery to be equal with God. He took upon him the form of a servant, and made himself of no reputation.

There was a glory that accompanied his sufferings. There is often much parade at the death of a monarch, and, by a show of greatness, an attempt is made to conceal or alleviate the disgrace of real littleness. But what are the suspensions of business, the splendid equipage, the tolling of bells, the solemn music, the discharge of artillery —

"He dies — the heavens in mourning stood."

The sun was darkened. The earth shook. The rocks rent. The graves were opened. The dead arose — Spiritual trophies, blended with the prodigies of Nature. Peter's heart was broken at a look. The Centurion, watching, exclaimed, "Surely this man was the Son of God." All the people that came together to that sight smote their breasts and returned. The dying thief believed with the heart, and confessed with the tongue, unto salvation, and received an assurance of an immediate place in paradise. And what a scene of moral glory was here also displayed, in his readiness to suffer; in his apology for his slumbering disciples; in the order to Peter to put up his sword; in his healing the ear of his enemy's servant; in his stipulating for the safety of his Apostles; in his confession before Pontius Pilate; in his bearing without resentment the mocking, the spitting, the scourging; in his sympathy with the weeping daughters of Jerusalem, in his way to Calvary; in his tender concern for his widowed mother, on the cross; in his prayer for his murderers, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do — where shall we end? Here, Celsus endeavours to turn his glory into shame. Having represented him as despitefully used, arrayed in purple robes, crowned with thorns, and nailed to the tree; he cries out, "In the name of wonder. Why, on this occasion at least, does he not act the God, and hurl some signal vengeance on the authors of his insults and anguish? But, O thou Enemy ! he does act the God. Any madman on earth, or fury in hell, is capable of anger, and wrath, and revenge; but to bear the most shocking provocations, and, though commanding the thunder and the flame, forbear to punish, and only pity! If it be the glory of a man to pass by a transgression; and the noblest triumph to overcome evil with good; he died gloriously, beyond all example. Yes; says even a Rousseau, "If the death of Socrates was the death of a sage, the death of Jesus was the death of a God."

There was also a glory that followed his sufferings. From the clouds that had concealed him, he issues forth in all the radiance of immortality, declared to be the Son of God with power, by the Spirit of holiness, in his resurrection from the dead. An angel descends, and rolls away the door of the sepulchre, and sits in glory upon it, and shakes the ground, and causes the Roman guards to flee for fear. His disciples are re-animated, and re-assembled, to whom, also, he showed himself alive, after his passion, by many infallible signs, being seen of them forty days, and speaking of things pertaining to the kingdom of God. See him ascend into heaven, far above all principality and power, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come. Were there glories on the day of Pentecost? He shed forth that which was seen and heard. He filled the Apostles with the Holy Ghost, according to his promise, so that they spake with new tongues, and all the people heard, in their own language, the wonderful works of God. And three thousand were converted under one sermon. All the miracles his servants performed were done in his Name, and were rays of his glory. The establishment of the Gospel then, and the spread of it ever since, and every soul called by grace, is a part of the joy set before him, wherein he sees of the travail of his soul and is satisfied.

And,O the glories that are yet to follow, when the nations of them that are saved shall walk in the light of the Lamb; when he shall sprinkle many nations; when all nations shall fall down before him, and all kings shall serve him! And, O the glories that are yet to follow, when his mediation shall be completely accomplished, and he shall come to be glorified in his saints, and admired in all them that believe: and attract every eye, and fill every heart, and employ every tongue, for ever!

Saviour Jesus, may I be with thee where thou art, to behold thy glory!

Morning Exercises For Everyday In The Year
By Rev. William Jay

 
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