"His Decease" (2)

"There talked with Him two men, which were Moses and Elias; who appeared in glory, and spake of His decease which He should accomplish at Jerusalem" (Luke 9:30-31).

If Moses and Elias had been alone, when they appeared on the Mount of Transfiguration, they might have talked of the way God had honoured them, when He withdrew them from the sphere of their labours, but in the presence of their Lord, they must only think and talk of His decease.

How would He depart when His work was done? Both of them had been servants, and now He who was "in the form of God," had taken upon Himself "the form of a Servant" (Phil. 2:7). They had broken down. Moses had failed in simple obedience to God, and in patience with His people. Elijah had become discouraged, as though God had less power than the pagan Jezebel, but of Jesus it was prophesied, "Behold My Servant, whom I uphold; Mine Elect, in whom My soul delighteth. . . He shall not fail nor be discouraged" (Isa. 42:1-4). And in Matthew 12:7-21, these words are quoted of Him.

In contrast with Him, Moses had failed, and Elijah had been discouraged, yet they had been honoured in their exodus. How will His exodus take place? — that of the Servant-Son, who filled the heart of God with continual and infinite delight? They talked of His exodus — of "His decease which He should accomplish at Jerusalem." Mark the word accomplish. It means to fulfil — to bring to completion — to be so perfected that nothing is lacking. There is no flaw, no failure in it. He had come to do the work that God had given Him to do, and in John's record of the crucifixion we learn that it was done. His own words were, "It is finished."

The Servant of Jehovah as the Lamb of God had now offered Himself up as the great sacrifice for the taking away of the sin of the world. He had then drained the cup His Father had given Him: He had glorified God on the earth, maintaining that glory on the cross; so with the suffering behind Him, just before He yielded up His spirit, He uttered the triumphant word, It is finished.

We but feebly enter into the meaning of this great word, but as we meditate upon it we are brought into communion with our God, for in that finished work His attributes have been vindicated, His nature revealed, and our redemption secured. In His finished work, "Mercy and truth are met together: righteousness and peace have kissed each other" (Ps. 85:10).