The Costliness and Blessed Self-hiding of the Love of Christ.

J. N. Darby.

(Words in Season, Vol. 4, 1890, page 36.)

The source of the glory which will be displayed is more blessed than the manifestation of it. It is blessed to be manifested in favour. Why? Because the favour of the person is precious to me. In John 17:23, the Lord prays "that the world may know that Thou hast loved them as Thou hast loved Me," while the Lord has obtained all the glory for us; yet when He comes to give His Bride her glory, He does not say it is a proof that He has loved her, but, in the blessed self-hiding of love, He says it is the Father's love. This is exceedingly blessed and beautiful. The Lord gives witness before the world, not that He loves her, for that was strewn in the necessity of her sinfulness (there is nothing more precious than the love between the Church and Himself), but to the world He exhibits the Church as loved by the Father which gives it honour, not in connection with sin and shame.

We see the same principle in Luke 15. However touching that love may be between the ruined sinner and the Father, which causes Him to fall on his neck and kiss him, yet before the servants He takes him home in honour, with the best robe on, and the ring on his hand. We have to know the depths of the love of Christ in meeting the sinner. This brings out the costliness of the love; but there is something besides this: when He loves the Church before the world, it is the Father's giving her glory and taking delight in her. The love of Christ is perfectly blessed and touching, and considerate towards us; there the heart's affections learn to delight in Him.