The Reed and the Bruising

The prophet Isaiah, being lifted up and carried with the wing of a prophetic spirit, passes over all the time between himself and the appearing of Jesus Christ in the flesh.  Seeing Christ as present, with the eye of prophecy and with the eye of faith, he presents him in the name of God to the spiritual eye of others, in these words:

Behold my servant, whom I uphold; mine elect, in whom my soul delighteth; I have put my spirit upon him: he shall bring forth judgement to the Gentiles.  He shall not cry, nor lift up, nor cause his voice to be heard in the street.  A bruised reed shall he not break, and the smoking flax shall he not quench: he shall bring forth judgment unto truth. (Isa. 42:1-3)

Matthew says these words are now fulfilled in Christ (Matt:12:18-20).  In them are shown, first, the calling of Christ to his office; second, the way he carries it out.

Christ’s Calling

Here God calls him his servant.  Christ was God’s servant in the greatest piece of service that ever was: a chosen and choice servant, who did and suffered everything by commission from the Father.  Here we may see the sweet love of God for us, in that he counts the work of our salvation by Christ as his greatest service, and also in that he will put his only beloved Son to that service.

He does well to prefix it with “Behold,” to raise up our thoughts to the highest pitch of attention and admiration.  In time of temptation, apprehensive consciences look so much to the present trouble that they are in, that they need to be roused up to behold the one in whom they can find rest for their distressed souls.  In temptations, it is safest to behold nothing but Christ, the true bronze serpent, the true “Lamb of God that taketh away the sin of the world” (John 1:29).

This saving object has a special influence of comfort to the soul, especially if we look, not only on Christ, but on the Father’s authority and love in him.  For in all that Christ did and suffered as Mediator, we must see God in him, reconciling the world to himself (2 Cor. 5:19)

What a support to our faith this is!  That God the Father, the very one offended by our sins, is so well pleased with the work of redemption!  And what a comfort this is, that seeing God’s love rests on Christ, as well pleased in him, we may gather that he is just as pleased with us, if we are in Christ!

His love rests on a whole Christ – on the mystical Christ as well as the natural Christ, because he loves him and us with a single love.  Let us therefore embrace Christ, and in Christ let us embrace God’s love, and build our faith safely on such a Savior, who is furnished with so high a commission.

See here for our comfort, a sweet agreement of all three persons: the Father gives a commission to Christ; the Spirit furnishes and sanctifies to it, and Christ himself executes the office of a Mediator.  Our redemption is founded on the joint agreement of all three persons of the Trinity.

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