The Banished One.

[04 1862 049] Some time since I read a paper, in a periodical, which taught us, that the Lord Jesus was as a banished one under the hand of God, and began to bear the curse that was due to us from the moment of His incarnation, and that He was bearing it all through His life, as well as on the cross.

I wonder that such a thought should have been entertained by a saint of God; or, that if it proposed itself to his mind for a moment, it did not at once get an answer and rejection.

I fully refuse this teaching; but would consider it in a very simple way, for a little season.

The incarnation took place in the midst of the joys of heaven. The Son was introduced to man and to the earth in a season of full noon-day light in the heavens. Angels celebrated that event with exultation. "They broke bounds that morning," as one once observed; for their joy was overflowing. The Spirit filled human vessels with the oil of gladness. The angel of the Lord, and a multitude of the heavenly host, old men and maidens, and babes in the womb, priests in the temple, and shepherds in the field, all in their way and measure attest the full, universal joy.

Was this, I ask, ushering forth the Lord under a curse? Was this an act of banishment? Was this as Adam sent out of Eden, cherubim and a flaming sword waiting on that judgment.

This scene of gladness, I know, was quickly changed. But who changed it? Did the counsel of God, the hand and Spirit of God, who had formed it, repent? No: it was man who changed it. He that was born the Bethlehemite became, under man's hand, the Nazarene. The wise men from the east took their journey to greet the child that had been born, laden with offerings. And this they did, under the Spirit, led by the hand of God. But He whom they, as sent of God, came to worship, had quickly, through the enmity of man, to fly into Egypt. God had appointed Him to be a King in Judea; man makes Him an exile in Egypt.

Does this countenance, or does it gainsay the thought, that Jesus, at His incarnation, was treated as a banished one by God?

And when in due time, this same blessed Jesus is sent forth to His work or ministry, it was in like solemnities as had thus already waited on His incarnation. The heaven is opened to Him; yea, upon Him; the voice of the Father, in infinite, divine good pleasure, ordains Him; and the Holy Ghost, in the shape of a dove, descends and rests upon Him. Was this an act of banishment?

But man again resisted and refused. Man again changes the scene, forcing the One who had been thus sent forth to His service by God, into other conditions altogether. His words are perverted. His grace is despised. His life is sought, and He and His are like lambs in the midst of wolves. He is not given where to lay His head.

The history of the ministering Son is thus in strict moral analogy with that of the incarnate Son. It was man that was banishing Him in whom God was delighting, and whom He was wondrously and blessedly accrediting.

But again, He who had been ushered forth at His birth, in the midst of the joys of heaven, and sent forth to His work afterwards, under an opened heaven, and as with oil of gladness, is just at the close of His ministry offered by God as King to the daughter of Zion. And this is done, under God's hand, in a way fully kindred with what we have already witnessed. All due attestations to His rights as God's King entering God's earthly metropolis accompany Him. The ass and its owner, the acclamations of the multitude, the mind of the whole scene, every expression yielded to the occasion, is taken up, and forced to be in concord with the divine purpose to set forth the King in his beauty under the eye of the daughter of Zion. The shout of a King is heard. All is worthy of the royal glory of the Son of David.

But man turned Him out again and banished Him — made Him an exile now from Jerusalem, seeking an asylum in Bethany, as before he had made Him an exile from Bethlehem, seeking an asylum in Egypt.

Surely all this is anything but an exhibition of One banished by God. These occasions measure the life of the Lord Jesus from the moment of His incarnation to the close of His ministry; and they tell us of God's unchanged delight in Him, of his patient proposal of Him again and again to the acceptance of man, and of man's continued, settled enmity, and of His purpose, fixed and resolved, to banish Him whom God was delighting to honour.

This is the secret, or the story of His banishment.

His own experience was according to this. His communion was ever with the Father, as another has observed. And, surely, "The lines are fallen to me in pleasant places," was not the language of a banished one. The light upon the holy hill was altogether different from the three hours of darkness that shrouded Him on the cross; and "Father, I thank thee that thou hast heard me" was not "My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?

But I say only this little. May our hearts be more occupied with worship, and less with speculations! We need grace to gaze, to wonder, and to adore. A constellation of moral glories shone in Jesus before the eye of God. May it so shine before ours! In Him an infinitely more attractive glory was taking its course, and accomplishing its transit across the face of a degraded, polluted earth, than ever of old, in the unstained creation, had studded and traversed the heavens.