"Come to Me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I
will give you rest."
"He that has seen Me has seen the Father." John 14:9
What is God? That is the great, the primal and final
problem of humanity. It formed the unsolved enigma of the ages until Christ
came. It cannot be frittered away by any modern Pantheistic theories in
which the existence of a personal Deity is discarded and denied. No one can
venture to say he has found rest until he attains some definite knowledge of
the character of the Being with whom he has to do. Moses was only the
unconscious interpreter of the world's anxious, yearning souls when he made
the request, "I beseech You, show me Your glory." The answer has been given.
A Hospice, precious above others, has the Rest-Giver provided for the weary
traveler--"No man has seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, who is in
the bosom of the Father, He has declared Him" (John 1:18).
In another sense, indeed, we have seen and are daily
seeing the world's Creator and Benefactor. Outer nature is no silent oracle.
"The invisible things of God are clearly seen, being understood by the
things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead." They are the most
familiar of platitudes when we speak of the Almighty as imaged and
manifested in sea and earth and air and sky, in mountain and grove and
valley; His praise intoned in song of bird, and music of stream, and deep
bass of ocean; above all, in the music of the spheres--the stellar glories
of the skies--day and night joining in the antiphonal strain.
But there are at times, also, stern and conflicting,
dissonant and discordant voices, anomalies ever and again occurring, alike
in the material and moral economy--the scathing lightning, the havoc-making
earthquake, the devouring famine, the death-shrieks of the perishing, the
sea's "wandering graves;" not to enlarge on many other forms under which we
group what are called "startling providences," perhaps, specially, the
baffling mysteries of suffering and pain. Our only explanation often is,
"Verily, you are a God that hides Yourself;" "Your judgments are a great
Yes, God, this great God, to many a soul would Himself be
the mystery of mysteries, His name "secret" (wonderful), but for the
gracious announcement and declaration of the Incarnate Savior, "He that has
seen Me, has seen the Father." The person and character of
Christ have been well compared to a viaduct spanning the otherwise dreadful
chasm separating us from the Unknowable and Incomprehensible of the
agnostic, and rendering the God with whom we have to do alike knowable and
known. "Come unto Me, and I will give you rest," for I am the Image, the
Reflection, the Revelation of the Invisible; the true Antitype of the pillar
of enfolding cloud which screened from the Israelites of old the Presence of
Deity; God in Christ, and Christ in God! As "words" are the audible
expression of silent thought, so is He "THE WORD" (the Word which was made
flesh), the spoken revelation of the Supreme--"Who has spoken unto us
by His Son" (Heb. 1:2).
Then follows the complementary query, "What is
Christ?" Ponder the details of His life and ministry as these are
evolved in the four Gospels. He is, above all else, "the Forgiver."
While holiness and purity and hatred of moral evil constituted the
essentials of His ethical teachings, while uncompromisingly denouncing sin
in its every hydra-shape, and stripping it of its sophistries--who can trace
these three crisis-years in earth's history without being impressed by the
conviction that Love, in its varied phases, formed the noblest
expression of His character, and like a divine aroma perfumed His every word
As we follow His footsteps on the shores of the Syrian
lake, or in the temple-courts of Judea, or by the footpaths and groves of
Olivet, or as He comes from His oratory beneath the silent stars, what do we
behold? A Divine Pardoner; a gracious Being who impressed all with
whom He came in contact with the spell of His goodness--succouring the
needy, rescuing the perishing; imparting comfort and solace to the
sorrowing, the troubled, the bereaved--confirming hesitating wills;
pardoning faithless desertion; offering hope to the penitent; help to the
disgraced, welcome to the prodigal, salvation to the lost. Such, says He, is
GOD--"My Father and your Father; My God, your God." And as this Father-God
"sent" His Son to earth for the redemption of mankind, let all His
sufferings, from Bethlehem's manger to Calvary's cross, and specially the
latter, their crown and consummation, be the measure and exponent of the
Father's love--"God so loved the world."
Blessed Savior, in You, as the Revealer of the Almighty,
I can lay my heaviest burden down. I can look up to the mightiest of all
beings, and say, "From henceforth I know Him, and have seen Him." I can
address Him by the endearing name You were specially called to unfold.
Secure in this Gospel Hospice, I can read on its lintels the gracious
lettering– "I will receive you, and will be a Father unto you."
"This is the resting place, let the weary rest. This is
the place of repose." Isaiah 28:12