J. N. Darby.
(Notes and Comments Vol. 2.)
We ought to think of the joys of Christ as well as His sorrows. Nothing shows where a man's heart is, and what it is, more than when oppressed, distressed, and full of sorrow, where his heart finds its joy, and if it does find a joy unreached by it.
We see these joys in Christ - a secret comfort in the midst of His sorrow. He had meat to eat which man knew not of. Besides His communion with His Father, there was this working of love to us. Paradise shone in upon His heart in comforting the poor thief. "Go in peace" refreshed His spirit in the house of the Pharisee. "She hath done it for my burial" justified Mary against the reproach of selfish man. "Thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and revealed them unto babes" was His joy in the sense of the heartless rejection to which the wickedness of man subjected Him. How blessed to the heart, besides learning where His joy was, to think that He found it in the working of His love to us!
It is lovely to see how the Lord does not merely show a resignation under trial produced by an effort which makes Him bow - and yet be absorbed by it as we often are, but a perfection of obedience and acceptance of His Father's will - such that He rises altogether above it, so as to be quite free to be in the fulness of, and express just what grace would do - or if needed, truth also - in that which was presented to Him. Thus, when led to the Cross, to the women he says: "Daughters of Jerusalem, weep not for me but weep for yourselves and for your children, for the day's come," etc. Then on speaking on the Cross for Israel, He says: "Father, forgive them for they know not what they do." This was the very one and only ground which could be good for Israel - the Holy Ghost answered to it in Peter's sermon; and Paul refers to the principle. Then to the thief on the Cross He says: "Today thou shalt be with me in Paradise." There was the full present effect of His work and salvation. Now how perfectly calm, as if He had only to teach in peace from heaven, is all this, and in perfect appropriateness in each case, which divine clearness could give; and how wide the scope of instruction!
157 The judgment of Jerusalem - the ground on which the Jews might be forgiven in virtue of the Cross - the full present blessing in virtue of the Cross, short of resurrection not yet accomplished. The whole scope of truth was here. Thus if we quietly do that which is given, and trust God in the peaceful answer to what is brought before us, what wide-spread power of truth comes in!