30th December 2020
“A living stone, disallowed indeed of men, but chosen of God, and precious.” 1 Peter 2:4
Though “disallowed of men,” the Lord Jesus Christ is “chosen of God;” and God, I speak it with reverence, cannot make an unwise choice. To think that, would be to attribute folly to the Most High. He is “chosen of God,” because he alone was fitted for the work. It would have crushed an archangel to bear what Jesus bore. No bright angel, nor glorious seraph, no created being, however exalted, could have borne the load of sin; and therefore none but God’s own Son, not by office, but by eternal generation, the Son of the Father in truth and love, could bear the weight of imputed sin and guilt. As Hart says,
“Such loads of guilt were on Him put,
He could but just sustain the weight.”
But he was “chosen of God” that he might be Zion’s Representative, Zion’s Sin-bearer, and Zion’s glorious Head; that there might be a foundation for the Church to rest upon with all her miseries, all her sins, all her sorrows, all her base backslidings and idolatries, all her weight of woe and depths of guilt. It need be a strong foundation to bear this Church, so loaded with degradation, ignominy, and shame! God’s own Son, and none else in heaven or in earth, could bear all this. “Look unto me, and be ye saved, for I am God, and there is none else.”
He was “chosen of God” in eternity, in the divine councils, that he might be a Mediator. He was “chosen” to become man; chosen to become the Rock of Ages, Zion’s resting-place, harbour, anchorage, and home. Jesus was ever, therefore, and ever will be, unspeakably “precious” to the Father’s heart. Man despises him, but God honours him; man disallows him, but God values him as his co-equal Son. God, therefore, not only values him as his “fellow,” and has chosen him to be the Mediator, but he is in his eyes unspeakably “precious;” precious in his Deity, precious in his humanity, precious in his blood, precious in his obedience, precious in his sufferings, precious in his death, precious in his resurrection, precious in his ascension to God’s right hand, precious in the eyes of God as the Great High Priest over the house of God, and the only Mediator between God and man. Is he not worthy of all your trust, all your confidence, all your hope, and all your acceptance? Look where we will, he is our only hope. Look at the world, what can you reap from that but a harvest of sorrow? Look at everything men call good and great; all that man highly values, good perhaps for time, but valueless for eternity. Perhaps no one could put a higher value than I upon what man naturally regards as good and great, especially upon human learning, and attainments in knowledge and science. Yet I have seen them as compared with eternity, to be but breath and smoke—a vapour that passeth away and is no more seen. But the things of eternity, the peace of God in the heart, the work of the Spirit upon the soul, with all the blessed realities of salvation— these are not like the airy mists of time, the vapours that spring out of earth and return to earth again, but are enduring and eternal, “an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away.
J. C. Philpot 1802-1869