from Memorials of the Ministry of G. V. Wigram. Vol. 1.
[Notes on Scripture; Lectures and Letters.
Second Edition, Broom 1881 (First Edition 1880)]
Part Fourth. LATER MINISTRY.
John 12, 13, 14 are remarkably connected together, as bringing out the work of Christ in the eternal redemption of a people to be sons and daughters of the Lord Almighty. The Jews had tried to put Lazarus to death, not liking to have such a witness of the presence among them of One who could raise the dead. God puts it into the hearts of the people to prepare Him an ovation, to give Him a triumph; and then certain Greeks (not Hellenistic Jews, but Gentiles) come up to the feast, and, without knowing what they were about, wished to see Jesus. But the Lord knew what it meant; i.e. that He was to step forth into His new work of gathering a people to God. He knew it was time for Him to die. The eternal Son of God had come off the throne eternal to die, and to die on the cross, and by whose desire? Was it coveted by man? desired by His disciples? No; anything but the cross of Christ is what man would think of. Satan, the prince of this world, could make those hearts which had cried, "Hosanna," say, "Away with Him, let Him be crucified!" And though Christ had spent Himself on earth for man, man would rather bury his dead out of his sight than have Christ as the Resurrection and the Life.
"Now is the judgment of this world." What does that mean? The water of the deluge had once destroyed the earth, fire will destroy the heavens and earth that now are. There was no flash of lightning, nothing destructive when Christ died, yet a thorough manifestation of what the world was came out then. Its judgment was proved, though not executed. The world exposed what it was itself by putting the Lord out of the world. "Now shall the prince of this world be cast out." Satan was a covert enemy before the Lord came into the world, not open as now. The power of Satan was broken. As was seen at the day of Pentecost, he could do nothing against the Holy Ghost. "I will draw all men unto Me." A strange, foolish thought to nature; but according to the perfection of Him who is the wisdom of God to know that nothing would draw the heart of poor sinners, save the Son of God hanging on a cross, the expression of man's hatred, but of God's grace.
Did you ever taste for yourself that the Son of God in heaven can look down upon you, and make you taste the marvellous love of His heart, entering into all your discipline down here in this wilderness, occupied with your weakness, and coming in to wash and cleanse your conscience?
John 14. Who would have thought of what we find here, that His love would lead Him to come out again to fetch us home? Who has thought of it since? rather, who thinks of it now? Oh, how little our hearts, the best of them, live in the thought that our future (Christ's tomorrow) is the Father's house! "Ye believe in God, believe also in Me." He would have no confidence in Peter; but Peter might confide in Him, as though He said to him, "You want keeping as well as saving. I can meet all you want in spite of yourself." It is superstition to speak of angels taking the souls of saints into heaven. Angels dare not intrude on work that belongs to the Lord Jesus Christ. If a Stephen is to die, the Lord Jesus Christ Himself receives his spirit. All about the soul and its salvation is in the hand of the Lord Himself.