JESUS CHRIST OUR SAVIOUR
Isaiah 53: 5
Luke 24: 13-15
Revelation 3: 19-22
I have a simple impression as to the Lord Jesus as our Saviour. It was asked in prayer that, where there was an impression of Christ, it might be brought forward, and I seek grace to do this.
Supremely Isaiah speaks of the Saviour. This was Jesus; this was the Man who was coming. Isaiah, we know from Scripture, was not fully aware of what he was writing about, but he had some impression. He sought it out earnestly through the Spirit of Christ that was in him (1 Pet 1: 11), and he was speaking about this Man who was going to become our Saviour; and one of the things that struck me about this was that the Saviour made our griefs His own. You might say that, if ever a Man deserved to be upheld - to get through in the light of His links which He had with God, a Man who deserved prosperity and acclamation - this was that Man, but He did not get that. We read, “Surely he hath borne our griefs and carried our sorrows”, Isa 53: 4. He bore our burdens; He bore them all. We can preach the gospel at any time. I have come to it in my own soul that I need to understand the gospel better; not only the terms - thank God the terms are preached to us constantly - but the practice that is involved in working out the truth of the gospel. Perhaps you thought everything was given to us free and for nothing. Yes, in a sense that is true. We cannot lift a finger to save ourselves, but having been touched in our spirits sovereignly by God and brought to know the Lord Jesus as Christ the Saviour, we begin to understand that here was the One who took our sorrows. Is that not a wonderful thing? “Surely he hath borne our griefs and carried our sorrows”. There are many today carrying sorrows and griefs, many in the world: the Saviour is there for them; many amongst us: He is still our Saviour. What a Saviour He is!
And we, we did regard him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement of our peace was upon him, and with his stripes we are healed”. It was that statement that came to me particularly, “with his stripes we are healed”. I do not want to be sentimental or in any way play upon the feelings of the brethren, but “stripes” involve that marks are left: that is, He felt these and He carried these. He bore them in His spirit. In one sense - I do not want to add to Scripture - “with his stripes we are healed”, He anticipated them. The cross was unique, and as for these three hours of darkness, there was nothing like them, but in a sense He anticipated them. He felt what the race was suffering under, felt it in His own soul, this Man. It says, “Jesus wept”, John 11: 35. What a Saviour! He understood the condition of things and wept in relation to it.
Then we have our part, “All we like sheep have gone astray”, v 6. Well, have we not? Have I not turned aside, “gone astray”? “Gone astray” could be a little short excursion or it could be a big long journey. We know about the little excursions. Who of us has not turned aside? “All we like sheep have gone astray, we have turned every one to his own way”. What is the answer? A severe rebuke? Well, a rebuke may be necessary, but the answer is, “Jehovah hath laid upon him the iniquity of us all”. I have been impressed recently with the fulness of the salvation which Jesus wrought so that we can stand before God, and we will stand before God, and we do stand before God, conscious that we are maintained there, in Christ, by the Holy Spirit. You know, God is pleased with us. Do you think of that, that God is pleased with you? Oh, but, you say, all these sins! No, He is not looking at these sins because this Man has atoned for them. The Saviour has borne them: “Jehovah hath laid upon him”. That was a transaction between God and Christ. The debt was there; we could not pay it; our case was hopeless, and we learn that. God has said, ‘I will come in’. He said that to Moses, “their cry have I heard … And I am come down to deliver them”, Exod 3: 7, 8. What a down-stooping that was!
Jesus is a glorious Saviour! (Hymn 46):
Many of us here sing that. I hope everybody here knows the Lord Jesus as their Saviour. I trust so; the door is open, now.
But Luke tells us about these two. They were not wicked sinners; they were persons who were disappointed, and they were depressed. It says they were “downcast”, v 17. He says, “What discourses are these which pass between you as ye walk, and are downcast?”. That is the Saviour we have, who sees us in the path, and He sees us when we are “downcast”. He sees what is needed so that it is not a once-and-for-all matter that the Saviour should save us from our sins. In one sense, yes, it is a once-and-for-all matter because it does not have to be repeated, but He does not stop being our Saviour, and it says earlier, “Jesus himself drawing nigh”. There is no other Saviour but this Man. He can send an angel to help, and I believe He does. We prove angelic care, and the Father’s hand too, but nobody comes to save us but this Man. He comes and He walks beside us. I repeat, I have no desire to be sentimental: I want just to speak the truth that it may affect us. “Jesus himself drawing nigh, went with them”. It has often been said that these persons were on the wrong road; they were going wrong because of their disappointment, and things had not worked out as they hoped they would. In a sense they said, ‘We have had enough; this is more than we can carry’. They were going home, thoroughly disappointed, but, “Jesus himself drawing nigh”. He comes to where you are or where I was and am. He comes in the graciousness of His untiring love and He goes with you. That is an important thing. You get that in Laodicea. He went with them. What was He doing? He went with them, fully sympathetic; every step they took, He took one beside them. That is the kind of Saviour we have. If we are toiling or we are struggling, Jesus is our Saviour, and He will walk beside us with a view to our blessing and help.
They say later, “Was not our heart burning in us?” v 32. What a thing it is! In one sense (I do not want to be light or misunderstood), but there may even be something gained in having turning aside. I do not mean it is right to sin, I do not mean that; but the sense of being restored, and the warmth of the love that is there shining in the Saviour and shining in an unhindered way is most reviving. Can it be that God can look on us and not have a frown, not have a criticism? We are clothed in the worth of Christ because of what our Saviour has done.
In Revelation, the Lord spoke to these persons, and He spoke very strongly. He said at one point, “I am about to spue thee out of my mouth”. That was a very, very strong kind of thing to say. What did He say to these people, these dreadful people, who did not know anything? “Thou art the wretched and the miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked”, v 17. You know, He still served them; He said, “I counsel thee”, v 18. I am indebted to another for saying that this involved the Lord’s headship: “I counsel thee”, JT vol 9 p462. In spite of the dreadful misbehaviour and failure: “I counsel thee”. That is the Saviour we have. He wants to save us; He is a Saviour who is not only willing to save, but desirous of saving, desirous of having us in the path that He would have us in: “I counsel thee to buy of me gold purified by fire, that thou mayest be rich”. That was not just any gold; it is “gold purified by fire”. This is something that comes to us as we are subject to the Saviour and find the value, the distinct value, in “gold purified by fire”. There is no better gold than that. That is our currency. “And eye-salve to anoint thine eyes, that thou mayest see. I rebuke and discipline as many as I love”. There is much suffering amongst the saints - I would be simple. The word is for all but there are some, just to use a simple expression, that are hurting, truly. I remember someone speaking in an address about the milch kine “lowing as they went”, 1 Sam 6: 12. They felt it. Things were not as they should be; naturally they should have had their calves with them and they did not. They were lowing, but they went, and that is what the Lord would help us to do; He would help us to go on.
“I rebuke and discipline as many as I love; be zealous therefore and repent. Behold, I stand at the door and am knocking; if any one hear my voice and open the door”. Well, there is a lot of knocking going on: brethren are suffering, in their health, in their families, in their spirits. The Lord is knocking, but He does not say, ‘Could you hear me knocking?’; He does not say that. He says, “if any one hear my voice”. Can we discern that He is there, He is behind it, He is doing it. Who is doing it? Our Saviour. He is doing it for our blessing and recovery. “I will come in unto him and sup with him”. There it is again. Was it a waste of time to go and sup in their conditions, those who were going on so feebly and poorly? We need to hear His voice. His voice has only one thing in view and that is blessing. “I will come in unto him and sup with him”. He will show us that He understands, and that is blessed. Then He goes on to say, “and he with me”. He is drawing us close to Himself. There is no period of probation here. There is no purgatory, as some would have it, but “I will come in unto him and sup with him”. And what is the next step? “And he with me”. We are restored fully and blessedly by this Saviour.
“He that overcomes, to him will I give to sit with me in my throne; as I also have overcome, and have sat down with my Father in his throne”. He will share with us. He has shared our sorrows; He does share them, our burdens too; He does share them. But what He is after, I say reverently, is that we should share with Him in His conditions, “sup with him, and he with me”. That is the Saviour; He has our blessing in mind. Why? Because He loves us, every one of us. May it be that every one of us here would have some sense of the Lord’s own love resting on them, and of His care for each one of us, so that we may answer Him as we should for His Name’s sake!
Word in a meeting for ministry, Grangemouth
9th May 2017