The Elect One
James Smith, 1856
"Here is My servant, whom I uphold, my elect one in whom I delight." Isaiah 42:1
God had a work to perform that no creature could undertake or perform. His only-begotten Son undertook that work, and having undertook it, He so prepared for it, entered upon it, and went through with it — that his Father was delighted. And in the prospect of it, the Father calls upon all His friends to behold "My servant, whom I uphold, my elect one in whom I delight!"
Jesus was chosen out from among the people. His human nature is part of God's church, one of the people, a portion of God's glorious inheritance. We find it profitable to fix the eye, and to keep the eye fixed, for a time upon one view of Jesus; we propose now to behold Him as God's Elect, God's chosen One.
Election, as an act of God — is eternal. We can have no idea of God as an infinite being — of God as revealed in the Scriptures, choosing any one in time, or choosing to do anything in time — which He had not chosen to do in eternity. The perfect intellect of God appointed, perceived, and arranged in eternity — all that concerns Christ and His Church.
The members were chosen before the foundation of the world, and the Head was chosen too. In the mind of God, Christ and His people are one. They were ever viewed as one in reference to their salvation and glorification. Are they chosen? It is in Christ. Are they predestinated to the adoption of children? It is by Jesus Christ. Are they loved with an infinite and an eternal love? It is in Christ. Yes,
"Christ and His members ever stood,
One glorious mystic Man;
Loved with the highest love of God,
Before the world began."
Jesus was chosen to bethe HEAD of His Body the Church. He represents her before the throne. He presides over all things for her good. He lives in every member. He rules over the whole body. The life of the Church, was in Christ. The beauty of the Church, was in Christ. He thinks for her. He hears for her. He speaks for her. He feels for her. God chose Jesus to be the living, life-giving, life-sustaining head of the whole body. This was a glorious expression of God's love to His people, and a peculiar honor put on His beloved Son.
My soul look to Jesus as your living Head. Look to Him as chosen by His Father to sustain this glorious relationship. Rejoice in Him as representing you before God, and managing all things for you among men. With Jesus as my Head, I may say with Paul, "I know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose."
Jesus was chosen toOFFICE. The principal office He sustains is that of Mediator. He comes between God and man. He represents God to us — and represents us to God. He is the medium through which God receives from us and communicates to us. As Mediator, He is our prophet to teach us, our priest to atone for us, and our king to rule over us. He fills every office necessary for a sinful creature, who has to do with a holy God: and every office necessary for a sanctified creature, rising up into the enjoyment of God.
He is the mediator Job longed for, who can lay His hand on both parties. Equal with God, He can deal with God; in the likeness of man, He can deal with men. He can give to God all that He requires, as the lawgiver and ruler of the universe, for man's salvation. And He can give to man all that he needs as poor, sinful, and condemned by the righteous law. Glorious Mediator! I bless, I praise, I rejoice in You; and amidst all my failings, shortcomings, and heart-straitenings, take comfort in the thought that —
"Since my Savior stands between,
In garments dyed in blood,
'Tis He instead of me is seen,
When I approach to God!"
Jesus was chosen toWORK. To work for God's glory, and to secure the certain salvation of God's people. The work he undertook was such as no angel's mind could grasp — such as all created beings could not perform.
He was chosen to produce a righteousness which would justify every sinner who would hear of it, accept of it, and seek to be justified in it.
He was elected to offer a sacrifice to God, which would expiate all the sins of all the persons He represented, His work was to harmonize the Divine perfections, honor the Divine government, and reconcile myriads of the human race to the Divine character. He was to conquer Satan, obtain the Holy Spirit, purify His people, and present the whole of God's elect before his omniscient eye, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing. He had to annihilate the curse, become the center of blessing, and bring God and man into the closest and happiest union. Blessed Jesus! You engaged to suffer — and You have fulfilled Your engagement. You engaged to work — and You will perfect Your work to the glory of God Your Father!
Jesus was chosen to aPECULIAR GLORY. He was glorious as God. He was glorious as man. He will be glorious as God-man forever and ever. His glory as the Head of His church, the glory arising from His offices, the glory which results from His work, and the glory reflected on Him by His glorified church — He was chosen to receive and wear.
He has a name above every name. As the Lamb, He is in the midst of the throne. Every eye in heaven is fixed on Him. Every voice in heaven sounds forth His praise. And by-and-by, every eye of every intelligent creature will be turned to Him, beholding His glory either with perfect joy or indescribable terror.
He will soon come to be glorified in His saints, and admired in all those who believe. He will come in his own glory — in His Father's glory, and all the holy angels with Him. Glorious thought! "We also shall appear with Him in glory."
My soul, God calls upon you to behold His Elect, His chosen One, even Jesus! You have beheld and enjoyed the sight, and I charge you, under all your sorrows and your sins, under all your toils and your trials, under all your conflicts and your conquests — to behold Jesus. Fix your eye on Him, and long as you can see anything, look, look, look to Jesus, and "rejoice in His dear name!"