JESUS' LOVE, #634
Therefore his sisters sent unto him, saying, Lord, behold, he whom thou lovest is sick. (JOH 11:3).
The love of Christ is a subject that we will never ever be able to fully express with the human tongue. The fullness there is in that verse deserves more than just one attention. I believe that it highly deserves dwelling on that matter again this afternoon. We need to see how that the Lord Jesus has been coming before Israel, the chosen tribes of Israel, Judah, the place where the Lawgiver was to come from. JOH 1:11 says, "He came unto his own, and his own received him not." They rejected Him. We want to dwell on how that in such love He manifested Himself unto them and yet they rejected Him.
Notice with me in MAT 9 how from Verses 18 to 38 it is telling us of the wonderful labor of love of the Lord Jesus Christ. In JOH 11 we read how Jesus came there for the glory of God to raise Lazarus from the dead that they might know that He was the Son of God.
This was not the only time He raised someone from the dead. Notice MAT 9:18, "While he spake these things unto them, behold, there came a certain ruler, and worshipped him, saying, My daughter is even now dead: but come and lay thy hand upon her, and she shall live." He raised this girl from the dead. So, Lazarus was not the first one He raised from the dead.
They had already seen the wonder of the power of His works, but there was still a distinction in the case of Lazarus. This girl was not four days dead. This girl was not in the grave and had already begun to deteriorate. The power and significance of raising Lazarus from the dead was more significant than this one in the fact that he had already been entered into the grave. With this one the people may yet doubt asking, "But, was she really dead?" With Lazarus, no one questioned that he was dead. We see throughout this chapter how the Lord Jesus love is manifested in all of the wonders and in all of the works of His Father that He is doing.
The love of Christ for His own dear children comes through so powerfully in MAT 9:36. Notice the blessed manifestation of the heart of our Saviour. "But when he saw the multitudes, he was moved with compassion on them, because they fainted, and were scattered abroad, as sheep having no shepherd." Now we are not talking about literal death. We are talking about spiritual death. In His own blessed flock, He sees such a state of spiritual deadness. As a Christian and a godly parent, to see one of your loved ones spiritually dead is more grievous, I believe, than if they were taken away in Christ out of this world.
Spiritual death is a grievous thing, and our blessed Saviour had compassion upon the multitudes because He saw how they were fainting spiritually. He saw the spiritual death that reigned in Israel. He saw them as scattered abroad as sheep having no shepherd.
The New Testament makes several references to the compassion of Jesus that reveal the depth of His love. These sisters came to Jesus saying, "Lord, behold, he whom thou lovest is sick." In other words, He was dying. They were pointing out that it was because of the love that Christ had for His flock that they felt that He would do something. They left it to Him what He would do, but here we see a description of this love. "But when he saw the multitudes, he was moved with compassion on them."
Beginning in MAT 10:18 to the end of the chapter, we read how people were coming to Him. One wanted to touch the hem of His garment. One had a daughter who had died, another one was possessed of a devil. They were all coming to Him, and He had compassion on this multitude because they were as sheep that didnt have a shepherd.
They had the shepherds of Israel but they were not shepherds. They were driving the people out. They were like wolves in sheeps clothing. When the man who was born blind came to the Pharisees. A wolf first hamstrings its victim, then secondly it goes for the throat. That is exactly what the shepherds of Israel were doing to the flock. They were first diminishing anything and everything of their needs and then, if they named the name of Christ, they would put such a person out of the church. This is what Christ is seeing; He is seeing that the multitudes were in a desperate need, and He had compassion.
This word compassion as found in the original has a very special meaning. It expresses the deepest emotion of the soul. As I pointed out in the previous chapter, Lazarus was dying. Jesus loved Lazarus. Every emotion of the soul goes out to a person in such a time. That is what is meant by this word compassion. The Lord Jesus sees a dying generation, dying spiritually, miserably, mislead by the false shepherds of Israel. He compared them to a flock scattered abroad as sheep having no shepherd. The compassion of our Saviour goes out to this multitude.
We see this same multitude today. We see a multitude following shepherds who are not true shepherds. They feed themselves of the flock. They rule with force and with cruelty. They have no compassion; they have no emotions in the soul that go out with a loving spirit to the flock.
This word compassion deals with "bowels that yearn with inward affection." It is a yearning of the inmost nature with pity or sympathy. So, when Jesus saw the multitudes, he was moved with compassion on them.
Now, this word moved comes from the same word in the Greek as the word compassion. In other words, He was moved; He yearned for the desperate condition of His flock. This is a double extremity of the yearning of our Saviour's inmost soul for those objects of His sympathy.
So what was it that our Saviour saw that excited such deep sympathy? The Great Shepherd of the sheep could so intimately relate to their need; He had an intimate knowledge of their case. "But when he saw the multitudes, he was moved with compassion on them, because they fainted, and were scattered abroad, as sheep having no shepherd." They had that sinking, fainting feeling, and nothing was being brought to this multitude to feed their souls. It was all the husks that the swine would leave. It was nothing that had the love of Christ in it, and they were being scattered.
So, the true flock of Christ was not able to follow those self-willed, self-righteous, legalistic, unloving, uncompassionate pastors who led the Lord's flock. They were not able to follow them, and that is why they were being scattered over the mountains. They were being scattered, and this is what moved the heart of our Saviour.
The false shepherds not only scattered the flock, but they rejected the true Shepherd. Then they went out to stone the true Shepherd. Why? When the true Shepherd came and the multitudes were following Him, they saw that He would raise one from the dead, and they saw that He would heal one who had an infirmity of many years. They saw that He had healed another one who was a lunatic and was possessed with a devil. They were jealous. They saw their position at stake. They realized that He had something that they didnt have.
Remember what King Saul did to David. He had slain his thousands and David his ten thousands. So what is the solution? Kill David. This is what they wanted to do to Jesus. The flock had rejected the Lord Jesus Christ. The multitude cried, "Crucify Him, Crucify Him."
Look at JOH 10:39-42, "Therefore they sought again to take him: but he escaped out of their hand, And went away again beyond Jordan into the place where John at first baptized; and there he abode. And many resorted unto him, and said, John did no miracle: but all things that John spake of this man were true. And many believed on him there."
His public ministry in Jerusalem had ended. Jesus had withdrawn and had moved into the regions of the Jordan. There many believed on Him. Why? It was the nobles, those leaders of the Jews, who were inciting all of this bitterness against Christ. When the flock was drawn away from them and they were able to see these miracles and they were able to see the love that Christ was shedding, they believed. "I thank thee Father that thou hast hid these things from the wise and the prudent and revealed them unto babes." They were hungering; they were fainting in their souls, but they were finding food.
MAT 9:32-34 reveals the self-righteous, legalistic, unloving, uncompassionate spirit in the pastors who led the Lord's flock, which moved the compassion of our Saviour. It was this unloving spirit, this legalistic spirit, ruling with harshness, unfeeling, that moved our Saviours compassion.
Let me show you what we read in MAT 9:32-34, "As they went out, behold, they brought to him a dumb man possessed with a devil. And when the devil was cast out, the dumb spake: and the multitudes marveled, saying, It was never so seen in Israel. But the Pharisees said, He casteth out devils through the prince of the devils." The more powerful the evidence that He was doing the work His Father gave Him to do, the more undeniable that He was the Messiah, the more viciously they came against Him. The more harshly they came against Him. They accused Him of casting out devils by Beelzebub, the prince of devils.
Under such circumstances we see the striking contrast between the uncompassionate spirit in these pastors who led the Lord's flock and the compassion of our Mediator. I want you to stop and think. I saw a picture in the paper the other day of the snow flying and just faintly in the background you could see the outline of the American flag. The caption underneath it said, "O say can you still see?" Now, can you imagine, if the contrast is such that you have a clear, pitch-black background and the contrast is shining, lily white? Now you dont have to question whether or not one can see it.
This is the contrast that the Word of God gives us between those who were so uncompassionate and the beauty of the compassion of Christ. He had compassion over a flock that was being driven by these uncompassionate people who dared to say that He casts out devils through the prince of devils. Why? They were losing their following and because they could see that the multitudes were starting to follow Jesus.
Now the scribes and Pharisees were concerned like Saul was. He has his ten thousands, and we have our thousands. They were beginning to become jealous. What did they do? They tried to bring reproach upon Christ Himself. They couldnt put a finger on His work. His work was beyond reproach. How could they destroy the man? Character assassination, by putting a finger on Him personally they tried to destroy Jesus. Satan loves it, and all you have to do is yield to that temptation, and you are serving Satan very well.
Now, this is what drew out the pangs of compassion of our loving Saviour as He is now coming to Bethany in the matter of Lazarus. He has just been driven out and they have picked up stones to throw at Him to kill Him. He escaped out of their hands, and now He says in JOH 11:4, "This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God, that the Son of God might be glorified thereby."
In all of this rejection they were doing to put out the light of His ministry, the light would only shine the brighter. This would be the Light that they could absolutely not deny. So what did they do? They decided not only to crucify Christ, but they decided to kill Lazarus too. Why? Many people believed on Jesus because Lazarus had been undeniably raised from the dead. So now they thought they had to get rid of both Jesus and Lazarus. It is so hard to imagine the satanic spirit that can enter into those who actually profess to be the leaders of Christs flock.
MAT 9:32-34 reveals these self-righteous people. They are now saying He is the chief and prince of devils, but under such circumstances we see this contrast between the spirit and compassion of our lovely Saviour. Not only that He made Himself of no reputation, but He also came to give Himself, to lay down His life, that He might take it again, that He might come to redeem from us iniquity.
In MAT 9:35-38 we read, "And Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every sickness and every disease among the people."
Do you understand why the Lord Jesus asked, "For which of these good works do you stone me?" They responded, "For a good work we stone thee not." JOH 10:32-33 says, "Many good works have I shewed you from my Father, for which of those works do ye stone me? The Jews answered him, saying, For a good work we stone thee not; but for blasphemy; and because that thou being a man, makest thyself God."
So now they justify their conduct because they thought He was a blasphemer. They considered Him the prince of devils. Why? He went around doing good, and Jesus said, "For which of these good works do you stone me?" There is no logic even to their reasoning.
MAT 9:36 says, "But when he saw the multitudes, he was moved with compassion on them, because they fainted, and were scattered abroad, as sheep having no shepherd." Imagine the loving, compassionate heart of the Saviour, despite all of this resistance, bitterness, and hatred that bred this design and attempt and conspiracy to kill Him, He still moved among them with such compassion because His flock was scattered as sheep having no shepherd. In MAT 9:37 we read, "Then saith he unto his disciples, The harvest truly is plenteous, but the labourers are few." What a message that is. True labourers of Christ are so few, but He continues in the next verse, "Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth labourers into his harvest."
As Aaron and Hur held up the hands of Moses, the armies of Israel prevailed, and while they let his hands down, the enemy prevailed. It is so important that we uphold the hand, praying for those whom the Lord sends that they may be able to remain faithful. Pray they might be able to come forth in that spirit of the love of Christ, that they may be able to contain and retain a compassionate heart, because He says the laborers are so few and the harvest is so great.
As you read Verses 37-38 again, consider the message carefully. "Then saith he unto his disciples, The harvest truly is plenteous, but the labourers are few; Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth labourers into his harvest."
It is important to note Jesus did not give a pastors heart to those pastors who were feeding themselves of the flock. A lot of times people say, "We want to have a revival meeting, and we want to pray for revival." Revival doesnt come by way of converting an apostate church. Do you know how revival comes? His people are brought out. That is how. You dont pray for the Lord to revive an apostate church. The Lord has never done it. I have never seen a record of it in history, and it is against Scripture. Jesus brings His people out; He brings them back together as a flock. Then He gives a pastor over them; He feeds them by a man who has compassion, who has understanding of that Spirit of Christ.
EZE 34:10 says, "Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I am against the shepherds; and I will require my flock at their hand, and cause them to cease from feeding the flock; neither shall the shepherds feed themselves any more; for I will deliver my flock from their mouth, that they may not be meat for them." The Lord is no longer going to allow His people to be meat for the shepherds who are devouring the flock. He said He would deliver them out of their hands. He is going to take His whom He loves, and He is going to draw them out from among them that they might be separate.
It was those despised fisherman who followed the footsteps of Jesus whom Jesus sent out to feed His flock. He didnt take those who had gone through the schools of Gamaliel. He didnt take these men who were doctors in the law. He said these things are hidden from the wise and prudent. He took fishermen, unschooled fishermen, and sent them to feed His flock.
In MAT 10:1 we read, "And when he had called unto him his twelve disciples, he gave them power against unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal all manner of sickness and all manner of disease." Now, our Saviour's compassion is eternally the same. Nothing changes. He is the Lord; He changes not. He does not convert the apostate church. He sends out those who are the fishermen and He makes them fishermen of men.
It was out of loving compassion that our Heavenly Father gave His dear Son as the propitiation for our sin. We see in 1JO 4:9-10, "In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him. Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins."
Our text says, "He whom thou lovest is sick." In other words, it is the one whom God loves, and because God loved Him, that was the basis of their petition. Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins." We must come before God to plead His love for us. That love of God, which stems from the love in His heart for lost sinners, predates time. It begins beyond you and me.
Now we are talking about the electing love God had from before the foundation of the world. "Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot: Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you." 1PE 1:18-20.
Before the foundation of the world, He was ordained to be our Saviour. Before you and I were born. Before you and I had ever heard the name of God, much less the name of Jesus Christ. Gods love predates us. He predates our existence.
So now, think of the love in our Saviour's heart for sinners when He covenanted to leave His throne in glory to be conceived in the womb of a descendent of Adam's race. We need to understand that Christ so humbled Himself that He came to be conceived in a sinner. He was conceived in the womb of a sinful person. The Virgin Mary was a descendent of Adam, and sin is original, inherited from our father. The distinction between Christ and the Virgin Mary was that Christ was conceived by the Holy Spirit. Christ had no natural father, and therefore He did not inherit sin, but the Virgin Mary was a descendent of Adam. So His condescension began not only that He had compassion on the multitudes and gathered with sinners and ate and drank with them, but He also came down and was formed in the womb of a sinful woman. Mary needed salvation as well as you and I; that was the beginning of His condescension. As He lived in this world and was surrounded and confronted by sinful people, He had such compassion that He gave Himself, and He gave His life, and He took it again. Giving His life alone would not have brought salvation.
He gave His life and took it back again. He is seated at the right hand of the Father, where He makes intercession for us. His compassion has not altered. The compassion that Christ had for that multitude is not altered. It is only intensified because He knows the power of sin. He knows the bitterness of death. He knows the pain of death. He has such compassion for His perishing flock, who are perishing at the hands of Satan and sin and all of Satans hosts.
Think of the sympathy and pity in the loving and compassionate heart of our Saviour when He saw the evil progress of sin fouling every page of history. He covenanted before time to redeem His flock. For 4,000 years before He came He saw sin fouling up every page of history. He covenanted to come down and suffer their shame that He might bring them into His glory! That is the love of Christ. We need to plead that love when we come before the throne of grace. His love, that as He sees sin fouling up all history, not only up to the first world and the flood, but up to the second world and the time that He came. He continues to see the flood of sin up to the time of His return. He saw all of this sin fouling and destroying His flock. In His compassion and His petition He says in MAT 9:37-38, "Then saith he unto his disciples, The harvest truly is plenteous, but the labourers are few; Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth labourers into his harvest." In other words, He will send laborers who will labor to bring forth that precious love of Christ to redeem us from our iniquity.
Look at JOH 17:24 as He intercedes, "Father, I will that they also, whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am; that they may behold my glory, which thou hast given me: for thou lovedst me before the foundation of the world." He came down to suffer our shame that we might behold His glory.
Can you picture the compassion of such a loving Saviour? He left this glory and condescended so low! The eternal King of kings came down to earth in the form of an infant. We have the Creator of the heavens and the earth, the mighty God, coming down as a helpless infant because He loved and saw with compassion His dear bride. "When he saw the multitudes, he was moved with compassion on them, because they fainted, and were scattered abroad, as sheep having no shepherd." What was Jesus doing among this multitude? He came down as an infant; He came down to live and to move among this multitude.
We find our answer in MAT 9:35. "And Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every sickness and every disease among the people." He had the balm of Gilead, not only for their temporal diseases, but also for their spiritual diseases. He was also preaching the gospel in their synagogues. He preached the gospel of the kingdom, the gospel of coming into the service of Christ.
Seeing that all these diseases and infirmities were the reward of sin, how was Jesus able to heal them without violating His Father's justice? Now, stop and ponder this. The justice of God the Father demanded that justice must be met for every sin committed. All of these diseases and all this sickness and all this grief in this world are the reward of sin. Now, how could the Lord Jesus heal this without violating His Fathers justice?
Take notice of MAT 8:16-17. "When the even was come, they brought unto him many that were possessed with devils: and he cast out the spirits with his word, and healed all that were sick: [now watch that Verse 17] That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Esaias the prophet, saying, Himself took our infirmities, and bare our sicknesses." Have you ever thought about it? A leper had to be without the camp, and anyone who touched the leper would be made unclean, and yet when the lepers came to Jesus; He touched them, and He said, "Be thou clean." What did He do? He took their sicknesses upon Himself. He took their infirmities upon Himself. He was made to be sin that you and I might be made the righteousness of God in Him. That is why He could heal these and not violate His Fathers justice. He was made to be sin for them.
What does it mean to see the crucifixion of a perfect Man on a felons cross? All we can reply is, "He was moved with compassion." Can you imagine the love of Christ and how that He saw the infirmities and diseases of His people, and He saw these wrongful leaders driving them away? How is it possible? We see Him, a perfect man, on a felons cross, and the only answer is, He was moved by compassion. By compassion, by the love of Christ, when He saw this condition, He was so moved with compassion, He took the debt.
At one point that I had to come before my Father to confess that I had a debt I couldnt pay. I said, "I have a brother who came in and paid my debt, and when He paid my debt, He paid it in full and set me free." Now I said, "He comes to me and says, Go ye and do likewise." Have you ever thought of that? Now, you and I must look at our fellowman, who has a debt of sin, and who has violated not only maybe us but violated God. Are we able to forgive them? Can we look now with that Spirit of Christ and have that same compassion that Christ had?
Sometimes the Lord allows us to go through circumstances that put us to the test. I have found quite often that He allows circumstances that make our hearts bleed. Instead of looking at the brother or sister or whoever it is who caused that wound, we have to look at Christ, and we have to think of that compassion that He had. He forgave our debt with such completeness. Are we now able to forgive?
Do we now dare to recite the Lords prayer and say, "Father, forgive me my trespasses as I forgive?" That is an awesome thing to say the Lords prayer, my friends. When you and I dare to come before God and say, "Forgive as I forgive." Oh, then we see such an unforgiving spirit in our best forgiveness. Now we have to come before God so often and say, "But, Lord, but now forgive my unforgiving spirit."
Think of the compassion that our Saviour had for the multitudes. It wasnt for one person. It wasnt just for that one leper that He took his infirmities and His diseases. He took the infirmities and He took the diseases of His whole church. Now that is how He came to stand before the Father on the cross. Do you understand now why the Father withdrew, and Jesus had to cry out, "My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?" MAR 15:34.
He was made to be sin for us, and the Father cannot have to do with sin or the sinner. The Father had to withdraw, and Jesus now lay down His life that He might take it again.
As He was crying out, "My God, why hast thou forsaken me?" He cried with a loud voice and yielded up the ghost, Verse 37. Do you know what He did? He died in darkness. He died in the absence of His Fathers love. Why? So, when you and I come to cross the Jordan, we can have the angels carry us into Abrahams bosom so that we do not have to die in darkness. We deserve what He took. He was moved with compassion for that multitude; that is not for one, but that is for the multitude.
Can you imagine in heaven when there are thousands times thousands times ten thousands times ten thousand angels and they are all singing with a loud voice, Glory to the Lamb. Why? They sing His praises because He was slain, taking the multitude of our infirmities and put them upon Himself. Now, do you understand the sisters of Lazarus? They didnt come to plead their love. They didnt come to plead the love of Mary and her confession of her guilt as the basis of why Christ should heal Lazarus. They came and said, "He whom thou lovest." They understood the precious love of Christ.
We can now start to understand in ISA 53:4-5, "Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted." Is that just for you and me? I am reading you the words of one who was a thousand years before Christ. He hath borne our griefs. Think of the multitudes upon which He is showing compassion. Surely He has borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows; "yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted." We will never understand the power of His compassion until we learn to understand that He was wounded for our transgressions, it was for our sorrows. ISA 53:5 says, "But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed." See the eternal wonder of a heart of compassion.
Another thing has often struck my mind. Think of an occasion where you going to plan a certain event in the future, perhaps three months from now. As the day gets closer, you start seeing the reality of it; the next thing you know, the event has taken place. Now, look back on it. If it was a happy event, it was something that you looked forward to with joy. If you had a loathsome disease, say you had cancer, and the doctor said, "You are going to live another year." You start counting down; six months go by and you see how the disease has progressed. Soon eleven months have gone by and you see how it has progressed. Death now starts becoming more real and more genuine.
Now I want you to think about something along those same lines. For four thousand years, our Saviour, seeing what lay before Him on Calvarys cross, never altered His mind. It was real to Him. All of the burnt offerings taught and projected the sacrifice of Christ, but you see, to our Saviour, one day is as a thousand years and a thousand years is one day. The blood of Christ was ever before the Father, and if it had not been, eternal destruction would have taken place the instant Adam sinned. Every burnt offering projected how the blood of Christ was going to be for the appeasing of His wrath. That was ever before Him for four thousand years.
Why does it say in the Book of Revelation, "And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world"? REV 13:8. He was slain from the foundation of the world. Imagine the compassion of our Saviour, how He for four thousand years, counted down, one day at a time, and watched that eternal sacrifice approach, which would be from eternity to eternity?
In JOH 12:23-26 we read, "And Jesus answered them, saying, The hour is come, that the Son of man should be glorified. Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit. He that loveth his life shall lose it; and he that hateth his life in this world shall keep it unto life eternal. If any man serve me, let him follow me; and where I am, there shall also my servant be: if any man serve me, him will my Father honour."
In His human nature, death was genuine for Christ. Just as genuine as it is for any human being. Now look at Verse 27; "Now is my soul troubled; and what shall I say? Father, save me from this hour: but for this cause came I unto this hour."
When a man is sentenced to be executed, he can start counting down, but when that hour is come, it becomes genuine. For Christ it was just as genuine from eternity. Can you see the compassion? Words will never express His love. His love and His compassion were so strong that in the face of all of this, in the face of His Father withdrawing, that He had to give up the ghost while He was crying out, "My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?"
He was so moved with love that His enemies could truthfully say as we see in MAT 27:42, "He saved others; himself he cannot save." Many of the things His enemies said were true. He couldnt save Himself because He came to glorify His Father. If He had escaped that hour, if He had saved Himself, His whole church would have perished.
In GEN 3 we read about the curse that God placed upon Satan. GEN 3:15 says, "And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel."
When Christ was hanging on the cross, that red dragon had Him by the heels and was jerking and pulling to drag Him down, using every diabolical design to discourage Him. Satan wanted Jesus to come down from that cross, but He was there of His own doing. Those Roman soldiers didnt put him there. He wasnt compelled to be there by His Father. He yielded Himself, and Satan was torturing Him. Who is this that you are dying for? Peter blasphemed your name and he denied you. Judas over there betrayed You. Who are dying for?
It was the compassion the Lord Jesus Christ had for that multitude, that multitude for which He was giving His life. We see how He had to withstand all of these fiery darts of Satan and from hell. His Father has withdrawn Himself. He cries out, "My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?" It was the compassion He had for you and me, so that you and I may not be forsaken of our Father on our dying day. He died that we might live to have His nearness and to have His love and to have that assurance of faith. "Why hast thou forsaken me?" In His compassion for the multitude, He took their place.
Our Saviour was utterly consumed with love. He died in the flames of His love for His friends. As we see in JOH 15:13, "Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends." The burning coals of love, which no floods can quench hung Him on the cross. His love was absolutely unquenchable. In the SONG of SOLOMON we read, "Many waters cannot quench love, neither can the floods drown it:" SON 8:7a.
Now, isn't this proof enough of the tender, loving compassion of our Saviour? May our faith come within the veil, that our hearts may join those who stand upon the sea of glass as our harps are tuned with the never ceasing melodies of that song of Moses and the Lamb. Can you imagine a symphony where one clown is out of tune, out of harmony? It spoils the whole melody.
Our hearts have to come in perfect tune with that Spirit of Christ. Do you understand why that He makes us meet or fit in character to be inheritors with the saints in light? When we can stand upon that sea of glass, our harps will not be out of tune.
Jesus came to an unconditional surrender to His Fathers will in LUK 22:42; "Saying, Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done." Our hearts must come into that unconditional surrender to the will of the Father, that it is our highest desire and our greatest pleasure to know and do His will. Why? So that we are not out of harmony, but that as we stand upon that sea of glass we can sing that song of Moses. What is that? The song of redemption, being redeemed from the power of sin, being redeemed from the power of Egypt, from the armies of Egypt, or we will say, from the power of sin and Satan.
We have been redeemed. We no longer live under the power of sin. If we are not able to sing in harmony with that blessed choir that will stand on the sea of glass, there is a door that goes directly from heaven to hell. I have said many times, and I really believe this is true. There are so many people who say they are going to go to heaven, and they may be right, but that doesnt mean they are going to enter it. We read of that in REV 6: 15-17. "And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bondman, and every free man, hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains; And said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb: For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?"
They will see the Lamb upon the throne, and when they come to the light that shines into their hearts, they see that they have not been cleansed. They have not repented and they have not been washed. Then they will cry to the hills and the mountains to fall on them to hide them from the face of the Lamb. The Lamb wont have to hold them out. They wouldnt dare to go in because they are coming to the light, and the light reveals an unregenerate spirit. They wouldnt be in harmony. They would never be able to sing in harmony with those who are on the sea of glass because they have never learned to praise and honor the blessed Saviour for all of the compassion that He has shown.
Oh beloved friends, now think of the compassion of our Saviour as He perpetually intercedes for His people. You and I are weak, we can slip and fall, but now we can come boldly to the throne of grace because we have a High Priest in heaven who understands every weakness. He comes before the Father and He is our Advocate. He is our attorney who presents our case before the courts of heaven. What does He do? He pleads His own love. He holds up His right hand, and He shows His Father the scars in His hand, and says their names are engraved there.
Those are our sins that pierced Him, and He now shows that payment in full. The justice of God demands our acquittal because the Father cannot ask for payment twice. As our blessed Intercessor goes before the courts of heaven, He shows that our names are engraved upon the palms of His hands. Now the justice of God demands our acquittal. What a precious thought, we have such an Advocate. We have such an Intercessor that now intercedes for His people.
He never holds His peace before His Father; He is pleading His blood and finished work as the Advocate for His bride until the last one whom the Father has given Him shall be with Him where they are to behold His glory.
Look at JOH 17:24, "Father, I will that they also, whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am; that they may behold my glory, which thou hast given me: for thou lovedst me before the foundation of the world." What compassion and what love. See why the sisters of Lazarus didnt come to plead anything but the precious love of Christ. Our love will vary. Our love can wax cold, but His love never alters. "He whom thou lovest" is our plea.
The fact that Jesus is no more present with us in the flesh has not altered His compassion for our every weakness. The fact that He is now at the right hand of the Father has not diminished His compassion for us and for our fainting spirit. His love for us has not diminished. We have a high priest as we see in HEB 4:14-15, "Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession." He is now where He intercedes for us, and He is now passed into the heavens.
Then Verse 15 gives it so preciously-that He knows our every weakness. "For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin." There isnt one sin that you and I can be confronted with but He can so intimately relate to it. That is who we have interceding on our behalf before the courts of heaven. Can you think of anything that should consume our thoughts more than the precious love of Christ? Do you know of anything that you can come to plead more before His throne than His own love?
Our Heavenly High Priest's tender heart pities all our grief. There is not one pang, there is not one grief in our whole soul that is not known to the Head. We are the body. We are His body and we cannot suffer one sorrow that is not known to our Head. Now He stands to ever intercede on our behalf.
We are His friends if we do all He commands us, but He looks upon our imperfections, not with anger-not with loss of patience-but with gentleness-patience, and sympathy-He is moved with compassion! Our blindness moves Him with compassion when we cry under a felt sense of it.
MAT 20:30-34 says, "And, behold, two blind men sitting by the way side, when they heard that Jesus passed by, cried out, saying, Have mercy on us, O Lord, thou son of David. And the multitude rebuked them, because they should hold their peace: but they cried the more, saying, Have mercy on us, O Lord, thou son of David. And Jesus stood still, and called them, and said, What will ye that I shall do unto you? They say unto him, Lord, that our eyes may be opened. So Jesus had compassion on them, and touched their eyes: and immediately their eyes received sight, and they followed him."
Our leprous condition moves Him with compassion when we cry under a felt sense of it. In MAR 1:40-41 we read, "And there came a leper to him, beseeching him, and kneeling down to him, and saying unto him, If thou wilt, thou canst make me clean. And Jesus, moved with compassion, put forth his hand, and touched him, and saith unto him, I will; be thou clean."
Our Saviour has compassion on those who have become burdened by their load of sin-therefore we must not only come before Him to acknowledge our sin, but turn from it.
In JER 3:13-14 we are admonished, "Only acknowledge thine iniquity, that thou hast transgressed against the LORD thy God, and hast scattered thy ways to the strangers under every green tree, and ye have not obeyed my voice, saith the LORD. Turn, O backsliding children, saith the LORD; for I am married unto you: and I will take you one of a city, and two of a family, and I will bring you to Zion."
Our Saviour has compassion on those who are enslaved by the things of death as the man in MAR 5:2-6. "And when he was come out of the ship, immediately there met him out of the tombs a man with an unclean spirit, Who had his dwelling among the tombs; and no man could bind him, no, not with chains: Because that he had been often bound with fetters and chains, and the chains had been plucked asunder by him, and the fetters broken in pieces: neither could any man tame him. And always, night and day, he was in the mountains, and in the tombs, crying, and cutting himself with stones. But when he saw Jesus afar off, he ran and worshipped him."
After Jesus compassion lays hold of our heart-we are commanded to show compassion to His praise with our feet and our mouth. As we continue reading, we come to MAR 5:18-20; "And when he was come into the ship, he that had been possessed with the devil prayed him that he might be with him. Howbeit Jesus suffered him not, but saith unto him, Go home to thy friends, and tell them how great things the Lord hath done for thee, and hath had compassion on thee. And he departed, and began to publish in Decapolis how great things Jesus had done for him: and all men did marvel." We are to do likewise. Amen.
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