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hid Himself, and went out of the temple. They resolved at once to put Him to death, as a blasphemer; but He prevented them, by going into the midst of the crowd, and passing through them out of the temple.
A few remarks must suffice on the verse which was chosen for our text. Therein we see in what exalted terms our Lord Jesus Christ spake of Himself. The plain and obvious meaning of His words is, that He was before all things; or, that He was God manifest in the flesh. Were not the attributes of Deity properly His, the language which He used was the most arrogant that could be conceived, and the Jews would have been justified in stoning Him for it. But He proved the truth of His claim to be the self-existent God by the miracles which He wrought, and by the manner in which He performed them. To these He made His appeal, that He had done such works or miracles as none other man ever did. His disciples wrought miracles in His name; but He acted in the most independent manner. He spake, and it was done. His word was instantly obeyed. His miracles displayed His almighty power and His boundless compassion. So that they may lead His believing people to look up to Him with the fullest confidence for those blessings which they need.
If the prospect of what Christ was to do and to suffer for guilty man filled the heart of Abraham
with joy and gladness, while he contemplated the blessedness which all the families of the earth would receive from it, how much greater reason have we, who can look back upon His having accomplished the work of our redemption, to rejoice and be glad in Him. When we see the manner in which He endured the contradiction of sinners, during His holy life; and how at length He endured the cross, despising the shame,‚o and poured out His soul unto death, and was numbered with the transgressors,98 was made a curse for us,99 that He might deliver us from the wrath due to our sins; what love to Him should fill our hearts for the great love wherewith He loved us. It was "for us men, and for our salvation that He came down from heaven," and endured all the unutterable woe, which we must otherwise have suffered in our own persons for ever and ever. He did this that He might be the Author of eternal salvation to them that put their trust in Him, and live in obedience to Him as their Lord and their God. May we be enabled truly to give up ourselves to His service, to live in obedience to Him all the days of our lives. And let us depend upon Him for every blessing that we need day by day, and live in expectation of the inheritance which is reserved in heaven for His believing people.
97 Hebrews xii. 2, 3. 98 Isaiah liii. 12. 99 Galatians iii, 13.
THEN ANSWERED ALL THE PEOPLE, AND SAID, HIS BLOOD BE ON US, AND ON OUR CHILD
THIS is the most dreadful imprecation that ever was uttered by the lips of man. The circumstances under which it was spoken, were also most surprising. Did not the sacred history relate the fact, it could scarcely be believed, that the multitude of a city should have followed a Person with acclamations, saying, Hosanna to the Son of David: Blessed is He that cometh in the name of the Lord: Hosanna in the highest: spreading their garments in the way before Him, in token of their willingness to submit to His
authority; carrying branches of palm trees in their hands, in acknowledgment of the victory which He had obtained over death and the grave, by raising His friend Lazarus from the dead, after he had been four days buried ; thus hailing His entrance into Jerusalem, because of the benefits which He had conferred by the exercise of His miraculous power: and yet that the people of the same city should, before a week had elapsed, have clamorously demanded, that He whom they had thus delighted to honour, should be put to a lingering, painful, shameful death, a death which was reserved for the worst and lowest of malefactors; that they should all say, Let Him be crucified and that, when the Judge, before whose tribunal He was placed, demanded a reason why He should be so treated, and pronounced Him innocent, and professed an unwillingness to be concerned in His condemnation; this people should have declared their readiness to clear the governor from the consequences of putting to death a just Person, by invoking upon themselves and their posterity the guilt of the horrible deed. The fickleness and the infatuation of the multitude of the city of Jerusalem seem to have been most extraordinary; that their admiration and their execration should have followed so closely upon each other; without any
1 Matt. xxi. 8, 9. 2 John xi. 17, xii. 13, 17, 18. 3 Matt. xxvii. 22.
thing having occurred in the mean time to produce the change, except that of His being in the hands of His enemies, whose envy had been excited by the joyful acclamations which accompanied His entrance into the city. The circumstance related in the text is mentioned by St. Matthew alone; but there is an evident reference to it in the Acts of the Apostles, when the high priest charged the Apostles of Christ with intending to bring His blood upon the Jewish nation; because they declared to the people, Ye denied the Holy One and the Just, and desired a murderer to be granted unto you, and killed the Prince of life, whom ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified, and slain. Let us
First, review the circumstances which attended the condemnation of our Lord Jesus Christ; and then
Secondly, consider the benefits which are derived by His believing people from His bloodshedding and death.
And may we by the gracious influences of the Holy Spirit be enabled to put our trust in Him, that the blessings of His great salvation may be vouchsafed to us in time and in eternity.
It appears from the context, that Pilate, the Roman governor, was exceedingly desirous to release the Lord Jesus. He saw that his pri
4 John xii. 19. 5 Acts v. 28, iii. 14, 15, ii. 23.