THE INCARNATE SAVIOR
"This is the resting place, let the weary rest; and this
is the place of repose"—
"Taking the very nature of a servant." Philippians 2:7
"The Word became flesh, and made His dwelling (lit.
tented) among us." Yes, He, the true Heavenly Palm (if it be allowable
for a moment to mix the metaphor) Himself came down amid the wilderness
grove; He, the Pilgrim of pilgrims, in infinite condescension and love,
pitched His tent in the midst of the human encampment! How comforting and
consoling, our Divine Redeemer thus identifying Himself with our tried,
tempted, woe-worn humanity! Moreover, that in stooping to assume our nature,
He selected not the exalted condition, but linked Himself rather with
poverty and distress and dependence, in order that the
poorest and the humblest, the most wretched and forlorn, might catch
balm-words of comfort from His lips—the lips of Him who often had nowhere to
lay His head.
Let us think of that lowly nature of His, thus embracing
in its scope every class and every phase of being, even those who had until
now been neglected and disowned. Rome was accustomed to deify the
manly virtues exclusively—strength, courage, heroic endurance. Greece
wreathed her crowns around the brows of her intellectual heroes—her
poets and philosophers, her sculptors and painters. But the weak, the
ignorant, the oppressed, had none to vindicate their cause until He
came, who pronounced "Blessed"—not the great, or rich, or powerful, or
learned—but the meek, the mourner, the poor in spirit, the persecuted, him
who had no helper! Hence, groups composed of every diversity of character
tracked His footsteps and hailed in Him a friend.
Stern, strong men like Peter; intellectual,
thoughtful men like Thomas; loving and meditative men like John.
Penitence crept unabashed to His feet, and bathed them confidingly
with tears. Sorrow came with sobbing heart and speechless emotion to
be comforted. The poor came with their tale of long-endured misery.
Infancy came stretching out its tiny arm, and smiled delighted in His
embrace. While He rejoiced with those who rejoiced, He wept with those who
wept. The fainting multitudes moved Him to compassion; the one petitioner in
the crowd who touched His garment-hem, arrested His steps and drew forth His
mercy. Every weary, wandering bird, with drooping wing, seemed to come and
perch on the thick branches of this gracious Palm of Elim—this mighty Cedar
of God. Beautifully has it been said: "In His heart Mercy may be said to
have held her court: Holiness could dispense with an Ark and Tables to hold
her laws; for in His life its enshrined glory was made so transparent, that
even demons confessed Him to be the Holy One of God."
Believer, you who perhaps may be fainting under life's
burden and heat, come and once again take refuge in the contemplation of the
perfect Manhood of the adorable Son of God! Delight often to think of
Him as a partaker of your nature. Though He has been well described, "as the
One only true and perfect flower which has ever unfolded itself out of the
root and stalk of humanity," yet it was a real—a true humanity. It is
because they come welling from the depths of a human heart—because
their music vibrates on a human lip—that the words are so unspeakably
tender, "Come to Me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you
Those who are thus buffeting the storm, exposed to the
windy blast of the desert, battling with care, harassed with anxiety,
prostrated with bereavement, stricken with conscious guilt, longing for safe
rest and deliverance from earth's sins and sorrows—can understand the deep
meaning of the central words in the importunate prayer of blind Bartimeus at
the gate of Jericho—"Jesus, Son of David (Elder Brother), have
mercy on me!" It will be from glorified human lips, too, the welcome
will at last be given—"Come, you who are blessed by My Father, take your
inheritance, the Kingdom!"
"His the descent from everlasting bliss,
In manger born, to raise us up on high;
A woe-worn Pilgrim in earth's wilderness,
Wedding our finite dust with Deity.
"Around His path no blazoned banners wave,
No jeweled diadem His brows adorned,
His cradle borrowed, and a borrowed grave,
Servant of servants, poor, despised, and scorned.
"Thus was He more than Brother unto all,
The poor, the lost, the burdened, the oppressed;
Not one excluded from the gracious call,
'Come unto Me, ye weary, and have rest!'
"Peace for the guilty, stung with conscious sin,
Peace for bereaved ones, wailing for their dead,
Peace amid waves without and storms within,
The troubled soothed, the mourner comforted."
"For this reason He had to be made like His brothers in
every way, in order that He might become a merciful and faithful high