Meditation for Sunday, April 7.

He is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth.   Isa. 53:7.

Thirdly, And as his patience flowed from his perfect wisdom and knowledge, so also from his foreknowledge. He had a perfect prospect of all those things from eternity, which befell him afterwards. They came not upon him by way of surprise. And therefore he wondered not at them when they came, as if some strange thing had happened. He foresaw all these things long before, Mark 8:31. “And he began to teach them, that the Son of man must suffer many things, and be rejected of the elders, and chief priests, and scribes, and be killed.” Yea, he had compacted and agreed with his Father to endure all this for our sake, before he assumed our flesh. Hence, Isa. 1:6. “I gave my back to the smiters, and my cheeks to them that plucked off the hair. I hid not my face from shame and spitting.”

Now look as Christ in John 16:4. obviates all future offences his disciples might take at suffering for his sake, by telling them beforehand what they must expect. “These things (saith he) I told you, that when the time shall come, ye may remember that I told you of them:” So he, foreknowing what himself must suffer, and having agreed so to do, bare those sufferings with singular patience. “Jesus therefore knowing all things that should come upon him, went forth, and said unto them, whom seek ye?” John 18:4.

Fourthly, As his patience sprang from his fore-knowledge of his sufferings; so from his faith which he exercised under all that he suffered in this world. His faith looked through all those black and dismal clouds, to the joy proposed. He knew that though Pilate condemned, God would justify him. And he set one over-against the other: he balanced the glory, into which he was to enter, with the sufferings, through which he was to enter into it. He acted faith upon God for divine support and assistance under suffering, as well as for glory, the fruit and reward of them, Psal. 16:7-11. I have set (or as the apostle varies it) “I foresaw the Lord always before me; because he is at my right hand I shall not be moved. Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoiceth.” There is faith acted by Christ, for strength to carry him through. And then it follows, “My flesh also shall rest in hope; for thou wilt not leave my soul in hell, neither wilt thou suffer thine holy one to see corruption. Thou wilt show me the path of life. In thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right-hand there are pleasures for evermore.” There is his faith expecting the glory into which he was to enter, after he had suffered these things: this filled him with peace. John Flavel

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