A Sweet Thought
James Smith, 1859
I have been reading an interesting obituary of a young person who passed through many painful, and some severe exercises of mindóbut was at length brought into a state of settled peace and joy in God. God manifested himself to her in Christ. She had a view of God's glory in the person of his Son, and this banished all her doubts and fears, and made her happy. God in Jesus is love. He is the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort. He is the God of patience and consolation. The God of peace, and the God of all grace. In him is everything to attract us to himóbut nothing to terrify or drive us from him.
The young person I was reading of felt this, and in speaking of the cause of her happy state, she said, "Through Christ I look at God; and through Christ God looks at me." Is it not a sweet thought, that Christ stands between the believer and God; so that if the believer looks up to God, he looks through Christ; and if God looks down on him, he looks on him through Christ. I wish to keep this thought in my mind, that it may influence my conduct and feelings; I will therefore endeavor to meditate on it for a minute or two.
"Through Christ I look at God." For a sinner to look at God, as he is revealed in nature, with a load of guilt on his conscience, is terrible. To look at God as just, and holy, and omnipotent, is enough to drive any sinner to despair. But to see Jesus, as set forth by God, to be a propitiation, through faith in his blood; as having made an infinite atonement for sin, and provided a righteousness that meets all the demands of the law, and does honor to all the perfections of the lawgiver; and then look up to God, is truly blessed. For how could God show his love to us, and his desire to receive and bless us, in any way so calculated to inspire us with confidence and love, as by giving his Son to bear our sins, endure our punishment, work out our righteousness, and remove every cause of his displeasure from us. This God has done, and to show that the Lord Jesus has perfectly finished his work, and that God is perfectly satisfied with what he has done, he is now seated at the Father's right hand in glory.
Not only soóbut as our great High Priest he is ever officiating before the throne for us; receiving our poor prayers, praises, and gifts, rendering them acceptable, and then presenting them to God. In looking up to God, therefore, we should look at Jesus as representing God to us; and look through Jesus to God, and then we see a God without wrath or anger; but with a heart full, and overflowing with infinite love to us. Such a view of God would banish our doubts and fears; strengthen and encourage our confidence; fill us with joy and peace; and inspire us with holy love and grateful praises.
O my soul, never, never, look at God but through Jesus; or as revealed in and by Jesus, and then you will enjoy perfect peace, permanent rest, and a fullness of joy!
"Through Christ, God looks at me." Yes, blessed be God, he has chosen us in Christ, blessed us in Christ, united us to Christ, and now looks upon us through Christ. He looks upon us as righteous through the righteousness of Christ; as having made a full atonement for sin, by the death of Christ; as prepared to answer every accusation by the advocacy of Christ. He looks upon us through Jesus, as his friends, as his beloved children, and as his honest, though imperfect servants. He looks upon us lovingly. He looks upon us with an eye of pity. He looks upon us with complacency and delight. He loves us with the self-same love with which he loves Jesus; and consults our best and highest interests in all he does to us, or permits to be done.
If he looked upon us in ourselves, or looked at us without a medium, how much he would nee to hate, and to provoke him to anger. But looking upon us through Jesus, he sees us washed in his blood, interested in his obedience, and as members of his body.
Oh, how I love to realize my oneness with Christ! How blessed, how unspeakably blessed it is to be viewed of God, through Christ! Blessed Jesus, I do adore you for representing me to your Father; nor less for representing your Father to me! Lord, help me all through life, especially on the bed of sickness and death, to realize and say, "Through Christ I look at God; and through Christ God looks at me!"