My Place Taken by Christ,

Once on Earth in Death, and Now in the Father's House in Heaven.

H. C. Anstey.

Christian Friend vol. 19, 1892, p. 51.

"Here have we no continuing city." - Hebrews 13.

There are only two places in God's account. First, there was my birth place, for I was "born in sin and shapen in iniquity," and as there I was under the judgment of God, from which I could never have extricated myself. I myself was born as man of the family of Adam, as to which see Hebrews 9:27. And then, secondly, there is my "new-birth" place, the place of the prodigal son in the "Father's house." (Luke 15.)

"The Lord has taken both places for me," a believer can say. His wounds as "the Lamb that was slain" bear witness in heaven of how completely He stood in my place, and bore all the weight of God's judgment against me the sinner. And now He has taken my future place for me, and He holds it until He shall put me into it. "I go to prepare a place for you" "Whither the Forerunner is for us entered, even Jesus."

And this latter place faith inhabits even. now, and thus it is that faith always says it has "no place here." (See Heb. 11:14-16.) But there -

"There all's unsullied light,
Our hearts let in its rays;
And heavenly light makes all things bright,
Seen in that blissful gaze."

The wilderness was no place for God's people. He took them out of one place (Egypt) - "the house of bondage" - to set them down in another place (Canaan) - "a land flowing with milk and honey." The wilderness is all change, a moving, changing pilgrim scene. God's place is marked by no change but rest - He speaks of it as "His rest." (Heb. 4.)

There are only two places. He took my place and gives me His. "Father, I will that they whom Thou hast given me be with me where I am." He holds it for me now, and is coming to take me into it; and as surely as He has taken our past place for us, so surely has He also taken our future place for us, the only place that will suit His heart. It is with Himself. As He said to the thief, "With Me"; so now He says of each of us, "So shall we ever be with the Lord." With Him; for since He took the place of judgment (where we could not be with Him) He claims* the full right now to have us with Him. None in heaven, on earth, or under the earth, can dispute that right. (Romans 8:31.) H. C. A.

* John 17:24. "I desire" is, I think, stronger than "I will."