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had exalted him, into a horrible abyss of sin and misery, he rendered himself and his posterity utterly unable to perform the least acceptable or perfect obedience to that righteous law. The law, however, still requires perfect obedience as the condition of life, and threatened death, in all its extent, in case of the least instance of disobedience. Now, seeing those whom he had elected to eternal life could not yield this obedience for themselves, it was stipulated that Christ should be " made of a woman, made under the law,” that he might, as the Servant of his Father, perform that perfect obedience to it as a covenant which it required of them in order to give them a title to life eternal. Accordingly, in the Old Testament, we find it prophesied of him, that he was to “ bring in everlasting righteousness ;” and in the New, we are informed, that he “became obedient unto death,” and that “ by the obedience of One shall many be made righteous." This perfect obedience he yielded whilst he was under the heaviest of all burdens, the curse of the broken law : which, doubtless, rendered the performance of it infinitely more difficult than otherwise it would have been.
3. Christ, as the Servant of his eternal Father, was bound to satisfy Divine justice. It was incumbent on him, not only to bear the curse of the law during the whole course of his obedience in his life, but to endure the full execution of it at his death, to the complete satisfaction of sin-revenging justice. He was not only to drink of the cup of Divine fury due to sin, but to drink it off. It behoved him to endure all that doleful anguish, all those unutterable torments both in soul and in body which his spiritual seed otherwise should have had eternally to endure. This part of Christ's service was indispensably requisite ; for, since the persons in whose room he served were sinners, and therefore were bound over by the condemning sentence of the law to eternal death, as the just wages of sin, it would have been utterly inconsistent with the honour of Divine justice to dissolve this obligation, unless he had bound himself as
their Surety to suffer the same punishment in their stead. Accordingly, we read in the Scriptures, that “ Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many;" that he made “ his soul an offering for sin,” and that he died “the just for the unjust, that he might bring us unto God."
4. In the character of a bond servant, he had to restore the glory of the Divine attributes, which was obscured and sullied by the sins of those in whose stead he served. Hence, in the prospect of his entering upon his service, his eternal Father addressed him thus: - Thou art my servant, O Israel, in whom I will be glorified,” Isa. xlix. 3. Every sin is a direct insult offered to God, and an act of downright rebellion against his supreme authority, interposed in his law. It includes a contempt of his majesty, a contradiction of his holiness, which is his chief glory, a denial of his omniscience and omnipresence, a defiance of his power, a reflection on his wisdom, a disbelief of his faithfulness, and a disparagement of his goodness. Now, seeing every act of disobedience thus obscures the lustre of the Divine glory, and since it was from eternity foreseen that the elect of God would, times without number, commit sin, and so come short of his glory ; it was proposed to Christ, and settled as an article in the everlasting covenant, that he should vail his glory by assuming their nature, and, in the low and obscure condition of a bond-servant, restore the glory of all the Divine attributes in their stead, in order that it might be consistent with the highest honour of all those perfections, to re-admit them to favour. Accordingly, we read that “ He restored that which he took not away," Psal. lxix. 4. and that when his service was almost finished, he addressed his Father thus: “I have glorified thee on the earth : I have finished the work which thou gavest me to to," John xvii. 4.
5. In conclusion : Is was also incumbent upon him to fulfil those prophecies and types of the Old Testament which related to his state of humiliation. It was prophesied, that he should “grow up before him as a tender plant, and as a root ouš of a dry ground,” with. out form or comeliness ; “that his visage should be marred more than any man, and his form more than the sons of men ;" that he should be “ wounded for our transgressions, and bruised for our iniquities ;" that he should “ make his soul an offering for sin :” and that he should “bring in everlasting righteousness," "and cause the sacrifice and oblation to cease.” These and many other prophecies, it was incumbent upon him, during his state of humiliation, to fulfil. He was also bound to answer the various types of the Old Testament respecting his abasement, sufferings, and death, as the Servant of his Father, and the Surety for his people.
II. The second general head was,—To show what work was assigned to the Lord Jesus Christ, as the honorary Servant of his Father. That he sustains this dignified character is evident. Behold,” saith his eternal Father,
my Servant whom I uphold ; mine Elect in whom my soul delighteth ; I have put my Spirit upon him, he shall bring forth judgment to the Gentiles." "He shall not fail nor be discouraged, till he have set judgment in the earth; and the isles shall wait for his law,” Isa. xlii. 1, 4. “It is a light thing that thou shouldst be my Servant, to raise up the tribes of Jacob, and to restore the preserved of Israel; I will also give thee for a light to the Gentiles, that thou mayest be my salvation unto the ends of the earth,” Isa. xlix. 6.
The Lord Jesus humbled himself by becoming a bondservant, and God highly exalted him by constituting him his honorary Servant. His bond-service he finished in his state of humiliation ; his honorary service he is now performing in his state of exaltation. To the one he bound himself in the everlasting covenant; with the other, the Father promised to honour him as a part of his glorious reward. Accordingly, having finished the work which was given him to do as a bond-servant, the Father exalted him to be Prime-minister of heaven, to have a name above every name, that in his name every knee should bow, and every tongue confess that he is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. Joseph being exalted to be prime minister of Pharaoh, and governor over all the land of Egypt, before whom the Egyptians were commanded to bow the knee, after he had been brought thither as a bond-servant, was in that respect an eminent type of Christ. Now, in the exalted character of the Father's honorary Servant, the following parts of service were assigned to him: He was to triumph over all the enemies of his people, as their Representative ; he was to take possession of heaven in their name; he was to be the high Trustee of all the grace and glory which he had merited by his bond service; he was to be the sovereign Dispenser thereof to sinners ; he was to judge angels and men at the end of time; and to be the only medium of communication and intercourse in heaven between God and glorified saints through eternity.
1. He was to triumph victoriously over all the enemies of his people, as their federal Representative. Having in the character of a bond-servant entered the lists with those enemies of his people, sin, Satan, the world, and death; they were permitted to prevail against him so far as to get him laid and kept for a time in the grave. It was however, secured to him in the name and as the Representative of God's elect, that, in his resurrection as the first-born from the dead, he should obtain a triumphant victory over them. It is true, he triumphed over them in his cross, before he was laid in the grave ; for we read, that "he spoiled principalities and powers, and made a show of them openly, triumphing over them in it;" but he did not triumph over them completely till his resurrection. In his resurrection, however, he was honoured not only to evidence the acceptance of his bond-service in the room of his people, not only to gain the victory over his and their enemies, but to obtain, in the view of all intelligent creatures, a glorious triumph over them. And, doubtless, it was most reasonable, since they had triumphed in the destruction of the first Adam and his posterity, that the last Adam, as the Head of a redeemed world, should triumph in their destruction.
2. He was to take possession of heaven, in the room of his people, till they should all arrive there in their own persons. Hence an apostle speaks of the believer's hope as entering “into that within the vail, whither the Forerunner hath for us entered, even Jesus.” It is true, many of them went to heaven before his ascension thither, but the most of them follow after it. Since, in the character of Bond-servant he humbled himself so low as to endure all the anguish and agony which otherwise his people should have suffered in hell through all eternity, it was most reasonable, that, in the character of the Father's honorary Servant, he should be exalted to possess in their name all the felicity and joy which they were severally to possess in heaven, to eternity. Hence we are informed in Scripture, that after God had raised him from the dead, “ he set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places, far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named.” Whilst he was a bond-servant, he was brought very low, lower than any of the children of men ; for he saith, “ I am a worm, and no man ;” but now, he is “ alted and extolled, and is very high,” as high as his dearest friends can wish him to be.
3. As the honorary Servant of the Father, he was to be the high Trustee of all those blessings of grace and glory which he merited by what he did as a bond-servant.-" It pleased the Father that in him should all fulness dwell,” Col. i. 19. “ The Father loveth the Son, and hath given all things into his hand.” As it was a special part of the dignity to which Joseph was exalted, after his state of servitude, to have all the treasures of Pharaoh intrusted to him, so it was a special part of the honour conferred upon the Lord Jesus, to have all the inexhaustible treasures of new covenant blessings committed to his trust, and lodged with him.
4. It was incumbent upon him, as the honorary Ser. vant of the Father, to be the sole Dispenser of all the blessings of the new covenant to his people while they remain in this world. To him, then, they must look for all the grace that they need. Out of his fulness they